Some folks aren't particularly fond of his taste in endorsements, but you can't deny that Kobe Bryant's(notes) having another spectacular season on the court (minus, of course, a rough 8-for-27 shooting performance in the Los Angeles Lakers' 112-95 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night). The 32-year-old's floor time is down (Bryant's averaging 33.1 minutes per game, his lowest mark since the 1997-98 season), but his all-around production has been characteristically outstanding — 26.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game thus far.
With his Lakers coming off of back-to-back NBA titles, which ran his individual championship count to five, and off to an 11-2 start this season that has them looking like a good bet for a three-peat, Bryant is firmly entrenched in the "playing for history" section of his illustrious career. He's a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer who unquestionably ranks among the game's all-time greats; the only question now is, where does he rank?
TNT studio analyst and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley tackled the question during the network's "Inside the NBA" show on Friday.
"Remember last week that I said that Kobe Bryant was one of the 10 greatest NBA players ever. I want to change that," Barkley said.