Calling Kobe overrated is such an easy thing to do, because if someone asks you to explain yourself, you can always back track and claim that you weren't saying he wasn't great or even that he isn't in the top 10 all time...even though that is what you really were implying, just gutlessly.
Honestly, Kobe is more UNDERRATED than he is OVERRATED. Shaq got ALL the credit when the Lakers won, and Kobe got ALL the blame when they lost, despite the fact that Shaq played lazy basketball ALL THE TIME, had a horrible work ethic, a poor demeanor and attitude (quite often) and deliberately sabotaged games when he didn't get what he wanted.
Shaq held Kobe down. If Kobe was Allen Iverson or Tracy McGrady, basically just wanting to score as much as possible with no thought to offensive efficiency or wins and losses, he could have been scoring 40+ points per game on a 38-40 win Lakers team. And what I love is when the Lakers won back to back titles and went to 3 straight finals Gasol was being given credit like Tim Duncan or Shaq by Kobe haters, but now they are talking about Gasol like he is Louis Scola or Boris Diaw in order to bury the Lakers before the first game.
Also every year Kobe was the best individual player in the game, the media kept saying "MVP is the best player on the best team" and then, when LA had the best record in the league and Kobe was the leading scorer and best player on the team, they changed the criteria to who is most important to his team...AFTER LA passed New Orleans in the standings of course. They complained and said it wasn't a lifetime achievement award...even though he was the best player on the best team AND the best individual player in the league AND the leading scorer in the league as well.
Honestly...anyone ignorant enough to think that Kobe is somehow diminished by the quality of his teammates while roundly praising LeBron clearly just has an anti-Kobe bias. Shane Battier and Ray Allen were the most reliable shooters with the game on the line these past two finals (which is DIRECTLY why the Heat have back to back rings) and LeBron has Dwyane Wade in his back pocket to take over games late, if need be. Often they take over at the same time. Kobe has NEVER had that much back court talent with him. It's the equivalent of pairing Jordan with Clyde Drexler in his prime. NOT FAIR IMO.
If Kobe had Wade, Bosh and Allen as teammates (with Mike Miller and Shane Battier making the plays they have made these past two finals series) the media (ESPN mostly, but also NBA Sports, Yahoo, etc.) would be saying that Kobe can't win without shooters to take the important shots late in the game, and that it is really easy to win with an all star team.
To be fair, LeBron does get that kind of two-way treatment as well, the difference being that most of the time his legacy is safe because it pays to overrate him while ripping Kobe as often as possible.
The End is nigh. Time for a total Cut and Shuffle. Kobe contract was a mistake...time to avoid making more. The future is here, whether we want it to be or not. An era is over, but for the death rattle, and it's time for the cycle to begin anew. Growth and change are scary and painful, but alas...nothing worth achieving comes easily.