FabFourLakers wrote:Can somebody name me a player other than MJ that has stayed this great for THIS long? Kobe has literally been a top 5 player for 13 years now....and of those 13, I'd say he's either been THE best player in the league for 8 of those year OR a top 3 player for 11 of those years. Literally all the dudes he came into the league with are not competing at the level Kobe is at right now. Tracy Mcgrady, Vince Carter, Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Steve Nash (he might be the closest in terms of still getting it done, but nowhere near a top 10 player any more)...he has outdone all of these players that were once neck and neck with him or "challenging" his throne.
Well, Kareem and Malone are two that come to mind. I mean, in their final years(more like, literally their respective final years) they weren't getting much done, but both guys were still well capable of having huge games well into their 30s. Of course, it's not a direct comparison given the types of games they played. Kareem being one of the longest centers of his era was able to stay effective as he aged, Malone being one of the strongest players to ever play the game was also able to leverage that to his advantage.
What Kobe is doing at this age as a somewhat undersized shooting guard whose game has always relied on quickness and cunning is remarkable compared to the bevy of other athletic do-everything players(many of which you mentioned) who fell off much sooner.
For the sake of fairness, I feel like I do have to give a nod to Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce though, I really expected both of those guys to be done by now, but they're still managing to make things happen and yes, a huge part of that is Rondo's playmaking and Doc River's coaching(knows how to utilize them) and those guys aren't do-everything players like Kobe, but still, for being on the wrong side of 30, it could be a lot worse.