Jayson Tatum recently Tweeted out what he felt like were the three players everyone must have in their NBA top five rankings.
If you were to guess right off the top of you’re head, that list probably includes Michael Jordan and maybe LeBron James. But, who do you slot in that third position? Kobe Bryant was Tatum’s answer.
The whole discussions started after Shannon Sharpe discussing his criteria for ranking an NBA player’s greatness and how you can create a list of the top five greatest players. In doing so, he mentioned a few names, and excluding some Kobe Bryant had Tatum calling him out.
For reference, Shannon Sharpe’s Tweet:
@ShannonSharpe unc, we watched this man play for how many years. We all know those accolades are a popularity contest at best. His numbers speak for themselves, and his trophies are louder still
This is horrendous https://t.co/ljfnhhGfg7
— ! ℝ… (@xHorusu) July 10, 2021
And Tatum’s reply:
— straw hat (@madmanstraw) July 10, 2021
As is customary with any sort of ranking dispute, Shannon Sharpe didn’t hold his tongue when it came to taking a shot right back at Tatum.
Shannon Sharpe Questions Jayson Tatum & His Basketball IQ For Not Including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Along With Michael Jordan, LeBron James, & Kobe Bryant
Sharpe, as expected, had a very reasonable retort to Tatum’s reply. While Sharpe had excluded Kobe Bryant from his list, it seems as if Jayson Tatum also left one very prominent NBA legend off his top three:
Any person that doesn’t have Kareem in the top 3. Shouldn’t talk https://t.co/eJZiC6gEuq
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) July 10, 2021
Yikes. Things get really tricky here. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is certainly one of the greatest players of all time. He holds the NBA record for career points, is a six time NBA champion, 19 time NBA All Star, and 10 time All-NBA First Team.
There’s no shortage of greatness there. He has more rings than Kobe and more points, and that’s where it becomes incredibly difficult to evaluate who was truly better. Having either player in your top three is going to be arguable.
Kobe Bryant compiled some impressive accolades over his career, but he had the benefit of playing alongside Shaq for his first three Final wins. However, with that logic, Kareem also win five NBA championships with Magic Johnson.
Debates over the greatest NBA player and a top five list will rage on endlessly with there being a crazy number of cases for both sides. Instead of comparing these legends, we should just admire their greatness and appreciate what they did for the game.