5 championships in less time/5 championships in more time
32+ yr old top 10 team mate / 8 years with top 10 player in his prime & peak
gets everyone involved / keeps chucking the ball causing team mates to be cold
I love Kobe but it's still Magic. If Magic would have worn a rubber and not got the HIV it wouldn't even be close. If KB24 can get another championship or two then maybe, but I don't know if that's gonna happen.
Magic is my all time favorite player. I think he's the most naturally gifted basketball player in history (not talking athleticism, just pure feel for the game). Had his career not been cut short due to the HIV announcement, I feel he would have locked in his place at the top of the GOAT list.
That being said, it's really close. I don't think people truly appreciate what Kobe has done, we take him for granted as fans. When he finally hangs up his shoes, it will be a sad day in the NBA, just as it was when Jordan did, the Captain did, Bird did, etc.
Kobe will retire with every Lakers record, and hopefully 6 or more championships. He will have carried the Lakers franchise for a decade and a half. He will have spread their reach internationally more than any player in history... I believe it's safe to say that he will be named as the Lakers "greatest player". But really in the hall of Lakers heroes none should stand above any other. Without any our franchise is diminished. Magic, Kobe, Kareem, Shaq, Baylor, West, Worthy, Mikan, Chamberlain, etc... Lakers family is strong.
Too many people are forgetting about Jerry West. Entire career was with the LA Lakers, he brought LA it's first title, he lead the team in assists and points almost every season he played. IMO he's ahead of Kareem as far as "Lakers" organization is concerned. Baylor is almost on par with him too as far as playing career and impact for the team during playing years is concerned. What West did after his playing days might make him the greatest Laker EVER. He's the man behind Shaq and Kobe. Without West, that stuff doesn't even happen.