Well, we can't agree on the different planet, stratosphere stuff. Kobe is one of the all time greats. There is no question he has been considered the greatest of his time -- but all I'm saying is during the last five years, it has been a combination of titles and the benefit of past reputation that have made it so -- not necessarily because his individual play was better than Wade's. If all you mean by stratosphere is the reputation and aura that Kobe developed over his career, he definitely does have that aura.
Thanks for the welcome, and you're original article I didn't have much of a problem with. Except that he didn't win a gold medal this year -- he was having knee surgery, not playing in the Olympics.
Well, just look at it this way... you say Kobe at his best is basically = to Wade at his best. You list some numbers in his favor. Fine. How many great years as he had?
06: Kobe level, sure.
07: Down Year. Injury riddled.
08: Another down year. Not even close to himself.
09-11: All great years. Kobe level, sure.
12: Really inconsistent with injury issues, not really considered a superstar, though he did come up big at times.
13: I am just looking at what he's doing, and he seems to already be in that veteran phase of his career... where you're at reduced minutes and saving your best for the playoffs.
So he's had 4 Kobe level superstar years, arguably 5. Kobe broke into superstardom in 2001 ( and had a couple all star type years before that), and he's just never looked back. Outside of 2005, which was an injury riddled year... he's been a superstar pretty consistently. 2001-2013. He's averaging almost 40 minutes a game in 2013, and trying to carry a team into the playoffs, like a prime superstar.
Do you honestly think Wade will have that type of longevity in his career? I am looking at 11 franchise carrying superstar impact right here, while Wade has 5, and only slowing down. If you say Wade at his best was comparable to Kobe at his best, fine. He won't have the career durability/longevity of Kobe or be remembered in that way, though. Their careers will be a good number apart on any reasonable all time list.
Kobe has the longevity, sure. But again, I think everyone is overreacting to Wade's poor play from the first month coming off surgery. Before the season started, Wade and everyone on the team had been saying (and they have continued to say), that it would be a long term recovery, and that he would be improving as the season goes on. And that's exactly what's been happening -- he's been playing very well recently -- despite limited minutes -- and getting better. His first month back he was shooting 46.6 % -- now he's brought his average up to 51% (for the past month and a half he's been shooting over 53%). He was averaging .4 blocks a game a month ago -- that's up to .71 now. I don't know how far up his points per game will go (he aveaged 18.1 in his first month, now he's at 20.4), but if you've been watching the Heat games, you would notice a couple things: First, when the Heat are playing well, the shots are pretty evenly distributed throughout the team, and 2) and when Wade is taking more shots and shooting well, they blow out the other teams, and he often sits out the entire fourth quarter. That was the trend last season, and it seems to be the trend this season. It's going to be hard for him to average more points in that situation.
By the way, I disagree about last season. It is true Wade had injuries all season (some we knew about, others, like the knee problem, he didn't talk about until after the postseason). But he was extremely efficient -- not just in field goal percentage,but in all areas, particularly defensively. If you think Kobe played better last season just because he averaged more points, I would say a closer look shows otherwise. Wade was underrated, even with his injuries. The people who only look at points per game and conclude he is not a "star" because he only averaged 22.2 points per game are looking very superficially at stats. It looks like this year will be similar -- there is no way on this team that he will average his career points per game (I would be very surprised if he does), but he will have another very efficient season.
No doubt about it it's impressive that Kobe is averaging that many minutes and carrying a team at his age. I don't want to take anything away from that. But again, just pointing out he is doing that because he has to. He's in a different situation. The Lakers have been a wreck so far, and Kobe is trying to fill the void. Put Wade in that position, so that he can put up as many shots as he likes, and he would be doing the same thing. I expect the Lakers to get better -- Dwight is also recovering from surgery, and when Nash is fully healthy, they will gel better. Also, FWIW, Kobe is playing miles better this year than last year. This is a situation where if you just looked at points per game, you would think they are having similar seasons, but they are not -- he is being a lot more efficient, which is impressive.
No, I do not "honestly" think Wade will have Kobe's longevity. I never made that claim. What I am saying is he's played at Kobe's level for most of his career, and in fact has peaked higher. Perhaps those peaks have cost him some longevity. But I think he'll last longer than people are thinking right now. It's unrealistic that people expect him to only get worse, when he's actually recovering from surgery and getting better.