it made sense for ariza/artest to guard the best players cuz they were better defenders (artest was…

Yeah, I don’t disagree with that. Obviously reputation earned him some he otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. & I think your comparison of him then to LeBron now is accurate as well. & yeah, artest was no slouch offensively (& neither was ariza for that matter), I just meant that kobe was always going to take precedence on offense over basically anyone else. I’m sure the coaching staff (& kobe) decided that it made more sense to save more of his energy for the offense. Especially cus artest & ariza were better lockdown defenders by that time.

I think kobe is one of the most devastating offensive players the game has ever seen. Having the potential to go absolutely nuclear in any given game. His defensive legacy is a little harder to rate. If he was an exceptional defender for about a third of his career (roughly ’01-’02 — ’07-’08), an above average defender for another third of his career (’98-’99 — ’00-’01 & ’08-’09 — ’10-’11), & a mediocre to below average defender another third (’96-’97 — ’97-’98 & ’11-’12 — ’15-’16), I’m not sure where that leaves him in the grand scheme of things.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.