Friday, September 25, 2009

Kobe Bryant Named The NBA Player Of The Decade

The Sporting News (SN) named Lakers guard Kobe Bryant the NBA Player of the Decade Thursday (September 24), saying he's the only player in the "history of the sport" who is has "hell bent" on improving every off-season as Kobe.

Kobe was up against the San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan for the honor, taking it with just 55% of the voting over the Texas center. However, Duncan was named Player of the Year twice by SN, back in 2002 and 2003, while Kobe only earned the honor once in 2008.

Here's the two players' numbers in comparison:

Bryant: 28.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 5.2 apg, one MVP, four titles
Duncan: 21.2 ppg, 11.7 rpg, 3.3 asp, two MVPs, three titles

Even Shaq weighed in, saying he had never played with some "as fierce" as the Lakers superstar:

"The thing about Kobe is that, over the course of my career, I have never played with anyone who was as fierce as he is. By fierce I mean just having that extra killer instinct that you know when the game is on the line he is not going to shy away from the big shot, he is not going to make excuses. If we would go into the fourth quarter, playoffs or just some game in the season and we were within a little bit of the other team, Kobe was not going to shy away from the challenge of getting the win. He was going to take the shots."

And here's Kobe's memory of the past decade:

"This year meant a lot. We won a championship. It was satisfying, very satisfying, because we put in a lot of time and effort to fix things and get better. It's a great memory. I feel that we just had such a great team, such a fun team, from our chemistry to the way we executed. We went through some years and years of frustration to get to that point."