Kobe Bryant is still the number one shooting guard in the NBA. But will the Los Angeles Lakers' marquee player be able to maintain this position much longer?
Bryant is still the top dog at shooting guard, but James Harden and Dwyane Wade are waiting in the wings, just waiting for the Mamba to slip up. With Kobe's long road to recovery from the injury he suffered in last year's playoffs, will his challengers be able to catch up?
Everyone has to admit, Kobe isn't getting any younger. At 34 years old, he's recovering from a ruptured Achilles, a debilitating injury with significant recovery time. If Kobe is able to come back next season without missing a step, will that be enough to make sure he's the best shooting guard out there?
In terms of their overall game and shot selection, it's possible to directly compare Kobe and Wade. Both are lockdown defenders and potent offensive weapons, and although Wade's offensive game regressed last season, he's still one of the most dangerous scorers in the NBA on his night.
James Harden wasn't even in the conversation until this past season, but his rapid ascent with the Houston Rockets propelled him into discussion. Harden averaged 25.9 points per game last season (compared to Kobe's 27.3) while getting almost the exact same minutes as Bryant. Although Bryant's two-point field goal percentage is still higher than Harden's, Harden is a better three-point shooter (Harden is also slightly better from the free-throw line, and he averaged two more FTs a game than Bryant did).
Do you think Wade or Harden is the most likely player to take Kobe's place as the league's dominant shooting guard? Or does the Mamba still reign supreme?Back to the Los Angeles Lakers Newsfeed