ESPN's 2013 NBA Player Rankings Puts Kobe Bryant at No. 25 Overall

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 16, 2013

I'm desperately trying to contain my laughter and not let it spill over onto the page after seeing this tweet from The NBA on ESPN's official feed that has Kobe Bryant checking in as the No. 25 player in the Association: 

OK. Right. 

Brandon Rush, how do you feel? 

I think that just about sums up what everyone is thinking right now.

Reggie Evans is even more bullish:

This is a predictive set of rankings for the upcoming season, but as bad an injury as a ruptured Achilles tendon might be, this is still Kobe Bryant we're talking about.

And really, the injury isn't an excuse. If the Black Mamba is truly going to be affected by that injury, then why is he even in the top 25?

If you're using the injury as justification for a low ranking, then Kobe shouldn't be sniffing the top 50. At least stick to your guns. 

Plus, let's recall where Derrick Rose was ranked last year, even though he was coming off a torn ACL and no one knew when he would return (he didn't): 

Precedent clearly doesn't matter, and apparently, Kobe coming off a major injury is worse than John Wall but still better than Dirk Nowitzki. Alrighty then. 

Does anyone actually think that Wall, Joakim Noah and Roy Hibbert are better than the Los Angeles Lakers' superstar? Would anyone rather start a team with any of those players for the 2013-14 campaign, even with Kobe coming off the injury? 

Apparently, the answer to both of those questions is a definitive yes, even though it shouldn't be. Kobe's average score shouldn't be checking in at 7.78 out of a possible 10. 

For the record, here are my top 10 players in the NBA going into the 2013-14 season: 

  1. LeBron James
  2. Kevin Durant
  3. Chris Paul
  4. Derrick Rose
  5. Tony Parker
  6. Kobe Bryant
  7. Russell Westbrook
  8. Carmelo Anthony
  9. James Harden
  10. Dwight Howard

Oh, look, there's Kobe checking in at No. 6. 

Love him or hate him, that's right about where he should be. Not at 25.