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]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Russell Westbrook posterizes DeMarcus Cousins to seal win

Tampa Bay Lightning trade star goaltender Ben Bishop to the LA Kings in surprise deal

Divac makes bold promise after trading DeMarcus Cousins

Popovich praises Magic, wishes him well with Lakers

Report: Andrew Bogut likely to join Cavs after buyout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NBA 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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

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