Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 12/20/12
We know that Kobe Bryant has never been one to downplay his confidence in his basketball ability or be quiet, well, about anything. But he took that too far recently, telling T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times that he probably would have scored more points had he never played with Shaq on the Lakers. From Simers' column: 'If I was playing in this [Mike] D'Antoni system when I was 21 or 23, forget it. The floor is spread and you just get to the rim.' So I ask, 'Would you have 40,000 points by now?' 'If I wasn't playing with Shaq, probably,' he says. 'I would have scored a lot more for sure.' But that's like a lifetime ago. And so knowing how much he wants to win championships and (tongue-in-cheek) I just heard him say he's going to retire after next year, is he panic-stricken, nervous or questioning his chances now of winning another ring? I like Kobe as much as the next guy but this statement is just a little absurd and frankly, out-of-the-blue and inconsequential. Kobe is 5th all-time in NBA history in points, just ahead of Shaq in 6th place by roughly 1,500 points but, in all likelihood, would not be nearly as high on that list without the help he got from O'Neal. Kobe was just beginning his career in the 1996-97 season in L.A. when the Lakers signed O'Neal in free agency, the same summer they traded for Bryant's draft rights from Charlotte. Contrary to popular belief, Kobe was not all that effective when he broke into the NBA and did not even average 10 points per game in his first season. That eventually climbed up to 15.4 points in 1997-98 and 19.9 points in 1998-99, a fact certainly aided by the presence of a perennial All-Star, future Hall-of-Famer, and 25+ point scorer and 10+ board rebounder in the paint. It is not just stupid to insult Shaq by saying he would have scored more points if the big man didn't play on the lakers with him, it is irresponsible. Give credit where it is due, Kobe, you should know better. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Andrew Luck reportedly out until at least December

Josh Reddick excited to face Dodgers due to how he was treated by their fans

Report: Roger Goodell’s contract extension being held up by anthem debate

Report: Aaron Rodgers could resume throwing in six weeks

Winners and losers of Astros' ALCS victory over Yankees

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Steph Curry may face suspension for throwing mouthpiece at ref

Alex Cora reportedly getting three-year deal from Red Sox

Kristaps Porzingis wants to see changes from Knicks before committing long-term

Bobby Portis apologizes for role in Nikola Mirotic fight

Tennessee fans fly banner: 'Butch your mom still loves you'

Steelers rack up $94K in fines for penalties against the Chiefs

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

Lakers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Houston Astros hold off Yankees, forcing Game 7

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker