Dec 13, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) dribbles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Says Kobe Isn't A Top 10 Shooting Guard

In an effort to try and project the 2014-15 NBA regular season, ESPN has been doing it’s “summer forecast” series. In it they’ve made projections for teams, conferences, and players. Now, in an attempt to piss off the entire city of Los Angeles, they’ve done their “Top 10 shooting guards” for the 2014-15 season. The article, written by ESPN Insiders Bradford Doolittle, has Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant ranked outside of the Top 10. This, my friends, is blasphemous.

The rankings system is based on forecast WARP, which according to the author is “perfect for this kind of exercise because it accounts for a player’s efficiency, volume of production and team context”. While the forecasting system in and of itself isn’t horrible, it does fail to account for the fact, that, you know, Kobe Bryant is one of the Top 1o players of ALL-TIME.

Yes, we’re all perfectly aware that Kobe is coming off of two leg injuries that have cost him 79 of the last 85 games the Lakers have played. And yes, we all know that Kobe is going to be the same player he once was or even the player he was in 2013. Heck, even Kobe thinks he won’t be the same player. But to rank Kobe outside of the Top 10 shooting guards in the NBA for the upcoming season, a position that lacks any sort of depth, is preposterous.

Forecast WARP projects the Top 10 shooting guards in the league for the 2014-15 season to be:

1. James Harden

2. Dwyane Wade and his creaky knees

3. Monte Ellis

4. Jimmy Butler

5. Dion Waiters

6. Tyreke Evans

7. Victor Oladipo

8. Klay Thompson

9. Manu Ginobili

10. Lance Stephenson

To be short, these rankings are atrocious. Dwayne Wade at number two? Klay Thompson at number eight? No Kobe? I’ve about had it with this “system”. I understand that these rankings are created by a system that places serious value on defense, efficiency, and team winning percentage but come on. I don’t want to sound like an irrational fan but these rankings are irrational. With that in mind, I’m creating a completely arbitrary rankings system that I’m nicknaming the “Gold Standard”.

Gold Standard Shooting Guard Rankings – 2014-15 NBA Season

1. James Harden

2. Klay Thompson

3. Monte Ellis

4. Kobe Bryant

5. Dwyane Wade and his creaky knees

6. Bradley Beal

7. Danny Green

8. Jimmy Butler

9. Dion Waiters (only because of LeBron James)

T10. Manu Ginobili

T10. Lance Stephenson

Ahhh, I feel so much better about these rankings. Hopefully you feel the same.

Tags: ESPN Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers

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