AT GSOM, we left Kobe off our top 10 list for many reasons. Read them then comment on the following below, if you want to have an educated discussion.
It's hard to leave such an accomplished player off this list, but his current play is nothing I would consider to be elite in terms of winning games. I believe the Laker's dominant frontcourt is the most obvious reason they are an elite team. Kobe is defined as an amazing scorer, however, he has never scored the ball with great efficiency, besides his 2006-07 dominant campaign. He also does not understand when to pass the ball to a better option. Kobe has exceptional passing ability when he is willing to defer, but he is continually in tunnel-vision, and does not recognize what a high quality shot is.
Kobe has won 4 rings, and while he has contributed to those rings, he has shot under 40% in 4 of his 6 finals appearances. Can we really consider him to be an all time great, if he has never dominated a particular finals? Has he ever been the best player on a finals winning team? I don't believe so. He played with Shaq (the best player outside of Duncan at the time) for 3 of his rings, and i have already established Gasol is the best player on the Lakers.
Bryants TS% this year: 54%.... the league average. Scoring is Kobe's supposed mastered art, yet he can't be better at it than the league average player....and if so, why can he not recognize this, and not shoot 21 shots a game? He doesn't have the mindset of a top 10 player. He has shown he cares about his reputation and personal accolades more than helping his team win basketball games.