Game Four Does Not Sway Kenny Anderson's View of Kobe BryantThe cliche goes that the media builds you up only to tear you down. After years of not giving Kobe Bryant the MVP votes that he deserved when he was clearly the best player in the league, this season the media selected him as the MVP and began making the tiresome comparisons to Michael Jordan that everyone--including Bryant--is tired of hearing. The easiest, color by numbers story to write in the wake of the Celtics' brilliant comeback victory over the Lakers starts with the words "Kobe Bryant should never again be compared with Michael Jordan." As I have stated in this space many times, I give Jordan the edge over Bryant in terms of skill set and in terms of overall career accomplishments; however, Bryant is the closest thing to Jordan in terms of skill set and work ethic since Jordan retired. Nothing that I saw in game four of the Finals changed my opinion on either of those issues. As I wrote in my game recap, "The case for Jordan's superiority over Bryant should be made based on a comparison of their skill sets, not on the basis of Bryant not being able to lead an inferior supporting cast to victory in the Finals over the best team in the league...If this game proved anything it proved that Bryant needs more than one one-time All-Star to lead the Lakers to a series victory over a deep team that has three future Hall of Famers."
Like many other mainstream media lemmings, Jim Rome is going to run with the easiest story to tell until he falls right over the cliff. Interestingly, former All-Star guard Kenny Anderson refuses to fall for the company line. Today on "Jim Rome is Burning," Rome asked Anderson if he buys the comparisons of Bryant to Jordan and Anderson answered, "As far as individual (skills), Kobe is right there. He's a great player. But now you have to see the supporting cast. I didn't feel that the Lakers' supporting cast could match up with Boston's supporting cast and it's being proven now. Derek Fisher and Kobe (are) the guys that are playoff ready. These other guys--Pau Gasol, Farmar--they are inexperienced right now."
posted by David Friedman @ 5:00 PM