LeBron James ranked 10th, Kobe Bryant outside Kenny Smith’s all-time top ten
NBA analyst Kenny Smith has uttered yet another controversial statement that will definitely raise the eyebrows of die-hard basketball fans. Smith placed Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James in the 10th spot on his All-Time Top 10 while the late Kobe Bryant is not even in it.
Smith spoke with Complex Sports in their Load Management podcast where shared his All-Time Top 10. The hosts were caught off guard when he ranked LeBron James in the last spot. Smith wasn’t entirely sure where he’ll put Bryant, but he’s confident that he isn’t within the Top 10. Smith defended his case:
“It’s so much easier to score now that it makes it hard to judge a guy’s ability.”
"LeBron is in my top 10 (of all-time) BUT he's No. 10… Kobe is not in my top 10." @TheJetOnTNT isn't putting LeBron or Kobe anywhere near the top of the all-time list.
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) July 7, 2020
Both Bryant and James are shoo-ins in everyone’s top 10 list. Even those who have not played against them are in awe of what they’ve accomplished. The championship rings, Olympics gold medals, Most Valuable Player trophies, and overall contributions to the sport are more than enough to rest their case as one of the top 10 players of all time.
While Smith’s declarations may be considered outlandish, it should be noted that he played in the late 80s up to the late 90s. This was when the likes of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan were at their prime. Like Bryant and James, Bird, Johnson, and Jordan have pretty hefty resumes as well. As such, Smith will likely choose the players in his era than those in today’s time. Besides, Smith has always had a penchant for controversial remarks. But he always presents good arguments to back it up.