ESPN recently ranked Kobe Bryant 93rd overall among NBA players, and you knew the local media was going to ask the notoriously outspoken Los Angeles Lakers guard for his opinion on the matter. Last year, when ESPN ranked Bryant 40th overall, he called those doing the rankings "a bunch of idiots." Would he lash out as harshly at critics this year?
No. When asked for his thoughts on his ranking, Bryant told Bill Oram of the Orange County register "I don't need to defend that. Nobody does really" and then when asked a follow up question replied "Please don't ask me about silly stuff like that."
It would seem the 37-year old, 19-year NBA veteran has grown to not really care where others subjectively rank him. But even if Kobe would not disagree, his fans did. During the Lakers' preseason game against the Toronto Raptors, as chronicled by Serena Winter of Lakers Nation, some voiced their disagreement with ESPN's ranking:
"You ain't no 93!" - Kobe fan behind me in Ontario.— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 9, 2015
Kobe noticed, and seemed to appreciate the gesture:
I asked Kobe if he heard the fans yelling 'You ain't no 93!' Kobe *laughing* "Ya, I heard a couple of 'em."— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 9, 2015
For getting a laugh out of Kobe, those Kobe fans rank top-10 in my new, proprietary "Kobe Fan rankings."