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Jerry West: Kobe Bryant is the best post player in the league

May 12, 2010, 2:34 PM EDT

Bryant_post.jpgIt’s been extensively — even excessively — well documented. Kobe Bryant worked with Hakeem Olajuwon in the summer to learn the dream shake. He came into this season stronger, and early on the Lakers went to him in the post a lot. Very effectively.

Then, when Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol were playing together, Kobe slid more back out on to the perimeter.

Jerry West thinks the Lakers should go to Kobe in the post a lot against the Suns, as he said on the Dan Patrick Show.

“I also think that the Lakers have the two best post players in the league, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant.  Kobe Bryant, probably the best one.  Their size and their determination, I think Kobe just watching him now looks healthier than I have seen him and he just has such an incredible drive to excel and win.  This did not surprise me at all.”

“Well I think Kobe, one of the things about him is if you watched him over the years he has just gotten better and better in all facets of the game.  Obviously with his strength and his size gives him an advantage over almost every player that he is playing against…  I think that Michael was much more of a jump shooter in there because of his ability to spring over people, but Kobe, the use of both hands in there and his footwork, I think really, really gives him an enormous advantage.   Being an offensive post player, that is a physical battle down there.  He just wears those guys out down there because of his strength and size and his determination.”

Clearly, this is the mythical pound-for-pound title we are talking about here, nobody expects Kobe to post up on Dwight Howard. Well, Kobe probably thinks he can, but it wouldn’t be wise.

But who has a better variety of moves down on the block? Not Howard or Shaq. Maybe Tim Duncan. Carmelo Anthony? But the list is pretty short. As always, West is on to something here.

  1. RockitD - May 12, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    Jerry knows! He was the one to wheel and deal to get Kobe in the first place. Mr. Clutch is da man!!!!

  2. Triple O.G. - May 12, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    Jerrry West is not only one of the greatest players toever play the game, but the man simply have an awesome eye for talent. His record as a general manager speaks for itself. Kobe is the best player since Jordan because of his commitment and love for what he do.Mitch has become a great general manager for the Lakers and he carries the legacy of what Mr. Clutch started on a basketball court long long ago. Thank you Mr. West for all of the great memories from one of the greatest sports teams in the history of sports. You are well loved in all parts of L.A.

  3. The Dude Abides - May 12, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    I think it’s debatable between Kobe and Pau as to who has the most effective post moves. Let’s just say we’re happy as Laker fans to have that debate.

  4. Craig W. - May 12, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    My guess is that Jerry rated Kobe above Pau because he has a greater variety of shots and a greater variety of footwork. However, Pau is not far behind and that is why he placed #2. Howard is clearly much more powerful, but he doesn’t come close in the number of moves, shots, and ability to use both hands equally.
    When strength trumps finesse Howard clearly is ‘the Man’, but that isn’t always the case.

  5. harold - May 12, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    The point is, as always, comparative advantage.
    Kobe is much more likely to face a defender who doesn’t have the strength and height to defend him in the post, much less know and have practice defending the post.
    Pau, on the other hand, will face defenders whose job is to defend the post, be it with strength, skill, wile or some combination of the three.
    So for Pau to be more successful or even as successful as Kobe in the post would require much much much more than what Kobe might need.

  6. JeremyLA24 - May 12, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    I’d have to say that Kobe has a greater arsenal of post moves than Pau has but Pau’s length and accuracy makes him just as affective. Like Dude said, it’s great that we can debate about which of our stars has a higher pinnacle in the post. The truth is, on any given night either (or both) of these guys can be lethal when posting up in the triple post offense.

  7. Omnius - May 13, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Jerry West sure knows what he’s talking about, that’s why he’s Mr. Basketball! Kobe can be unstoppable in the paint and it’s time for Kobe to stop shooting so many long jumpers and drive the lane to the foul line.

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