Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14
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When the NBA announced that the season will finally start on Christmas Day it gave the analysts their first guarantee that basketball would be played this year. It also opened the floodgates for them to talk about the players and try and rank them.

The hot debate at the beginning of the year occurred after Chris Paul ultimately wound up being traded to the Clippers. After a trade was vetoed that would have sent Paul to    the Lakers, commissioner David Stern/ acting owner of the Hornets felt like the group of young talent the Clippers offered would suit them better.

This then allowed the aforementioned analysts to bring up the debate about who the best player in L.A. is. With Paul being the fresh face and most hyped player in the league at that time a lot of people jumped on his bandwagon and ranked him ahead of Kobe.

I will be the first to admit that I’m a CP3 believer, but to rank him ahead of a guy who has proven himself with five NBA Championships, all in Los Angeles, and still in his prime, is a little far-fetched.

As if to silence these rankings early Kobe has come out playing some of the best basketball we’ve seen from him in a while. He is averaging 29.5 points, 5.8 assists, and 5.7 rebounds all of which are above his career averages. Kobe topped that by scoring 48 out of his teams 99 points last night in a victory against the Suns. On the other side, Paul

Kobe is still the face of L.A.

has struggled to adjust to his new team and hasn’t been putting up the numbers we’ve come to expect out of him. (Averaging below his career totals in every statistical category.)

The argument that Kobe needs to shoot 40 times to score 40 points is a valid one considering he has never shot over 50% in his career, but at the end of the day he still gets it done in pressure situations something neither Paul nor Griffin has done yet.

It is likely that Paul and Griffin will get it going, and CP3 will go back to looking like the CP3 we all know, but until someone takes Kobe’s Los Angeles throne from him it is still his to lose.

 

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