By Alex Groberman
It makes sense. In the eyes of many basketball observers, fantasy is more interesting than reality.
“What may happen” is the topic of conversation far more than “what did happen.” That’s why you have a bunch of ludicrous Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan comparisons when, in reality, the gap between the two players is larger than the one between Michael Strahan's teeth. It’s also why a new brand of nonsense is floating around: the idea that Dwyane Wade is a better shooting guard than Bryant.
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The myth has been afloat for a while now, but it was re-broadcasted to the world when Yahoo Sports ranked the NBA's top 30 shooting guards. The list was well thought-out for the most part and, obviously, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The problem with it, though, is that it placed far too much emphasis on a pretty big “what if” in terms of Miami's success. Simply put, the general public has no idea if things will work out beneficially for Wade.
Bryant getting the short end of the stick in the media is nothing new, though. Despite being the closest thing we’ve ever seen to Jordan (close yet so far away) the Lakers star has been written off and underrated whenever his detractors have found an excuse to do so.
Despite having the most complete offensive and defensive arsenal in the league, he’s earned the title of “getting old” and being “worn down" over the past three years. Never mind that his game relies far more on his skill and smarts than athleticism and talent. At this point, in the eyes of the critics, grandpa Bryant is done.
On the flip side, the Heat’s Wade has turned into the NBA golden child. While the young champion is without a doubt one of the top four talents in the league, he is a far less effective shooter and defensive stopper than his counterpart in Los Angeles. These deficiencies are generally overlooked, though, because of his much more media friendly attitude. Oh, and winning a championship so early in his career doesn’t hurt either.
Bryant’s offensive game is a thing of beauty for any casual observer. He has a considerably better shot both inside and outside the 3-point line than Wade, and it’s been that way for a while now. His signature turnaround jumper is becoming a thing of legend, and when he retires it may end up getting filed away with “The Dream Shake” and “The Sky Hook” as one of the most unstoppable plays in league history. While age and years in the league have taken a toll on his speed, Bryant can still get to the basket at will, even if it’s more so because of his basketball IQ than because of his athleticism like Wade.
Some will point to assists and offensive rebounding as a point of comparison between the two, but the truth of the matter is...
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