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Kobe Bryant receives most votes from rookies asked to name their favorite player in the league

Aug 27, 2013, 12:21 AM EDT

Kobe Lakers black uniform Getty Images

Each year when the NBA’s freshly drafted rookies gather for the offseason photo-shoot during the summer, NBA.com surveys the group to get their thoughts on the league’s current players, as well as predictions for the future of this year’s incoming class.

While several topics were covered, one of the more interesting questions posed to the 36 rookies who were surveyed asked who was their favorite player in the league.

The winner in this category was Kobe Bryant.

From John Schuhmann of NBA.com:

1: Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers — 21.2 percent

2: LeBron James, Miami — 15.2 percent

T-3rd: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City & Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas — 12.1 percent

T-5th: Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn & Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers — 9.1 percent

Others receiving votes: Carmelo Anthony, New York; Vince Carter, Dallas; Tim Duncan, San Antonio; James Harden, Houston; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio; Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers; Dwyane Wade, Miami

The outcome is interesting, for a variety of reasons.

Bryant is the game’s most polarizing player; fans either love him or hate him, and there is rarely any in-between. Additionally, Bryant is known for his competitive nature and his scoring ability above all else. Last year in particular, he was caught on more than one occasion not playing any type of defense whatsoever.

Still, Bryant is one of the game’s elite talents, even 17 years in. Despite LeBron James and Kevin Durant having more athleticism and pure skill at this point of their respective careers, it’s great to see the future of the game appreciate all that Bryant brings to the table.

  1. kb2408 - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    You forgot to add that he’s also known for winning rings. You failed to mention that point……but criticized his defense. Somehow you also failed to mention that he’s been a perennial All Defensive team member for the majority of his career.

    • antistratfordian - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:16 AM

      He known for coattail riding.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        derp

    • moseskkim - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:43 AM

      Agreed with most except dont give him credit for all of those all nba defensive honors. He has been a “safety” type defender which is good for nfl but horrible for the lakers. They were giving him that award based on name and not true D. Tony Allen type players deserve that perennially

  2. senorpapino - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    He used to be the most polarizing. Now that title belongs to LeBron

  3. dohoangquan35 - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    not a diss to other players or anything, but if i can vote, Paul Pierce will be my choice. He won my respect after standing up and apologize to his teammates (right during the game) after missing crucial free throws in a loss to Brooklyn last year

  4. antistratfordian - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Last year it was LeBron. Makes sense for this year, since the class was the weakest in years.

  5. 00maltliquor - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    That’s right!

  6. 00maltliquor - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Surprised Vince Carter’s still in the mix, as wildly popular as he was in his heyday, he hasn’t been THAT Vince Carter since these new jacks were in Middle School.

  7. 00maltliquor - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Also Dirk tied for 3rd was a bit of a shocker, no?

    • meyeshua - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:31 AM

      No, because he is a good person too.

    • tk41 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      I thought the same at first… but he probably fares disproportionately well among international rookies.

      Dirk has been around for the vast majority of most international rookies’ lives & has been a great ambassador for the NBA in Europe (finally getting a ring helps, too). If you think about it in that context, it makes a lot more sense.

  8. josephmarazul - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Hold up!!! What?! Lebron and Durant more skill than Kobe Bryant right now, no EFFFING way! Kobe at age 25 has way more skill than these two and more HEART…Bamn! Sucka! No but seriously that was really dumb for you to put on your article.

  9. 2016olympics - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Derrick Rose anyone??? We have such short memories in this what have you done for me lately world.

    • tk41 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Most people pick a favorite player at a pretty young age – Durant is the only T5 guy on the list that was drafted after 2003.
      Its not a knock on Rose, its a mathematical statement that he hasn’t been in the NBA long enough for draftees to have idolized him since grade school. I’m guessing he’ll appear on this list in another 5 or so years.

  10. josephmarazul - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    * 35

  11. 00maltliquor - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    1) Kobe Bryant
    2) Metta World Peace
    T3) Tyson Chandler & Tayshaun Prince
    T5) Gustavo Ayon & Jordan Hill

    Honorable Mention

    Kevin Love
    Russell Westbrook
    Kevin Durant
    Derrick Rose (to round out the top 10)

    Bonus **I’m a closet Rajon Rondo supporter. Can’t wait till he gets pushed out of BOS so I can be open about it! LOL

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:51 AM

      AHH!! Forgot to put Blake Griffin in there! Stephen Jackson too when/if he gets picked up again this year. Okay, now the list is getting too long…

  12. funktron2x - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    Fascinating that Kawhi got a vote from a rookie. Probably Franklin, yeah? That is a hell of an impact to make on a young teammate at sdsu.

    • stephenlin - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      wow, yeah! that is pretty awesome. good for kawhi.

  13. nflcrimerankingscom - Aug 27, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    maybe if he wasn’t such a dirty POS player, Duane Wayd would be higher.

    • lhollis74 - Aug 28, 2013 at 12:10 AM

      I thought I was the only person to notice. From the time he pulled down rose after getting his pocket picked two years ago in the playoffs, to the time he kicked Ramon sessions in the nuts, to the time he ran by Stephenson and elbowed him in the head last year, to the time he raked Kobe across him face and broke his nose after getting shook in the all star game, and that’s just what I remember off the top of my head!
      People have been asking whether or not he’s a dirty player, and I say where there’s smoke, there’s fire!

      Its kinda sad really watching him now, he’s only 6’4″, barely getting over rim when he dunks, but wont just lay it in, cuz superstars don’t “just lay it in”. His superstar status is reliant on his “high flying” reputation, cuz just take a second to invision his game without dunking, very lacking in my opinion.

  14. losanginsight - Aug 27, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Just because a 6’9 “center” didn’t want to win with a 5xCamp doesn’t mean others wouldn’t seize the opportunity. These young kids coming in weren’t able to witness MJ every Sunday but they did get to see the next best thing.

  15. realninerfan22 - Aug 27, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    Its called marketing. You guys market kobe, lbj and kd.. But you guys do your best to dimish d wade.. Into say lbj has more pure skill then kobe is just stupid.. Lbj has pure athleticism.. Kobe is playing off pure skill in smarts.. Lbj is greay on fastbreaks.. Once you put him in thr halfcourt anf cut the paint off he looks average.. I swear you sports writers are ignorant..

    • zoomy123 - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      LBJ looks average? LOL! You mean like 25-11-7 average? The only other player to put up those numbers in an NBA Finals series…LBJ in 2012 vs OKC. You mean average like 37-11-4, including 5 3’s and hitting the game sealing shot in game 7 of the NBA Finals average? Nothing to see here folks, just Lebron James being average…

      • zoomy123 - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM

        Also, LBJ shot 44.7% from 2 and 35.3% from 3, which is higher than Kobe Bryant in his last 2 NBA Finals appearances. In 2009, Kobe shot 43% from 2 and 36% from 3; in 2010 Kobe shot 40.5% from 2 and 31.9% from 3. So, like I said, nothing to see here folks, just Lebron James being average.

  16. abchome - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:56 AM

    Of course, they have been watching Kobe as a perennial contender since 4~5.

  17. money2long - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    at some point in this video, they show back to back to back clips of kobe knocking down the jumper in the faces of d-wade, KD, and tim duncan … this man is amazing.

    • money2long - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      youtube video
      “kobe bryant – I CAN’T STOP”

      • money2long - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        by tanksean

      • money2long - Aug 27, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      • money2long - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:55 PM

        at some point in this video, they show back to back to back clips of kobe knocking down the jumper in the faces of d-wade, KD, and tim duncan

  18. unsportsmenmic - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Reblogged this on UnSportsMenMic and commented:
    These kids grew up in the Kobe era, and saw his excellence. In 5-10 years it will be LeBron, but I bet you none of them would like playing with Kobe!

    • whereyaat - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      Yeah, because he never gets young players like Trevor Ariza, Jordan Farmar, Andrew Bynum, Ronny Turiaf, Javaris Crittenton, Brian Cook, or Maurice Evans paid. Nah, he did nothing to increase their overall value, right?

      • unsportsmenmic - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:03 AM

        The statement was not about getting young players paid, because players off of Championship teams get paid regardless. Of all those names you stated who did Kobe help develop? How many are still with him, without leaving and coming back? When is the last time we heard a young player note Kobe as their mentor, great leader, or great teammate? In those championship years post Shaq most will tell you Derek Fisher was the Leader and the guy the young players went to for help. And rookies look up to Kobe now because they see the infinity gauntlet on his had (the 5 rings) and want that career. Also Kobe was the best player in the league when they were coming up.

      • whereyaat - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:47 PM

        Your point is irrelevant to the conversation.

        Stars don’t develop players. Who has Lebron developed? Jamario Moon? Daniel Gibson? He’s a terrific leader and a great player, yet his Cleveland teammates have fared poorly. How about DWade? He’s a terrific leader and a great player, but man, he sure did a poor job of developing Beasley. Before the Heat got the Big 3, the Heat and the Cavs sure had high turnover.

        How did Michael Jordan’s teammates fare after he left? Oh, you mean they didn’t win rings after he took off? Man, MJ is sure ovverated (sarcasm), he didn’t develop his teammates well.

      • unsportsmenmic - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:25 AM

        I think we will agree to disagree, my point is Kobe has historically been a bad teammate. Most NBA players would and will tell you that, a lot keep quiet because he has 5 rings. My original statement is those rookies wouldn’t to play with Kobe, and I contend to that statement. You made the comment about the young players he brought more value you to. Most if not all young players Kobe has played with he turns off because of his brash, and intense personality. Don’t believe it look it up, only vets in the game can withstand Kobe, because they know.

  19. 3xchamps - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I’ll give you that lebron is more athletic, but durant? the only thing that durant has more of than kobe, is height.

  20. sidneyz - Aug 27, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Kobe will go down as one of the greatest players to play the game. LeBron will also be one of the greatest to ever play but he still has quite a way to go to surpass the Black Mamba.

  21. panchopolarbear - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Dwyane Wade a dirty player? Stfu

  22. panchopolarbear - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    @money2long does it also show Kobe getting stuffed by DWade when trying to drive the ball in last season?

    • money2long - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      i dunno. but it didn’t show kobe hitting that game winning banked in 3 pointer.

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