Draymond Green

Why Draymond believes Kobe oftentimes is left out of GOAT debate

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When it comes to the greatest NBA player of all time discussion, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant tends to get left out of the debate, and Draymond Green understands why.

Speaking to Shaquille O’Neal on “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” Green explained why people tend to leave Bryant out of the GOAT debate.

“Here's why I think he's not [in the conversation],” Green said. “Because, number one, he played with you and people hold that against him. Number two, I think Kobe kind of fell in a weird time. And what I mean by that is Mike [Jordan] left the league. When Mike left the league, y’all were dominating. And then you left the Lakers. When you left the Lakers, they had a few rough years, it wasn’t great.

“They didn't have a great roster. Rudy Tomjanovich, that was that was an epic fail like it just wasn't great. And while it wasn't going great, there was a young guy in Cleveland starting to make his hay. And so, in the years where Kobe could have been dominating, which he was from a number’s standpoint, they weren’t winning. So in those years, LeBron [James] was making his hay and starting to make his name as the best player.”

Green went on to explain to O’Neal that Bryant did not spend enough time as the undisputed top player in the league before James began his run of greatness.

“And I think the amount of time that it was a consensus that Kobe was the number one in the league, like the top guy, I don't think it was long enough for everybody to say to put him in that conversation, because Bron then came and put his name in the conversation,” Green explained.

“And so I don't think he accumulated enough people saying that he dominated the way Mike dominated in the length of the time that Mike dominated, Bron the length of time that he's dominated. I don't think Kobe dominated himself for that length of time. And I think that's why people don't put him in the conversation.”

While Bryant had an incredible career with the Lakers, winning five NBA titles and becoming one of the most prolific shooters in league history, many believe that many of those championships were due to the dominant pairing with O’Neal.

Later in the podcast, Green was asked to give his Mount Rushmore of NBA legends, with the Warriors forward making some interesting choices.

“My Mount Rushmore is Kobe, Shaq, LeBron and Steph [Curry], I love you, big fella,” Green told O’Neal.

Given Green’s close friendship with James and his relationship with Curry, those choices make perfect sense. The more surprising picks of O’Neal and Bryant are not too big of a stretch considering the level of success the pair had together and apart. After O’Neal left the Lakers, he won another championship alongside Dwayne Wade with the Miami Heat while Bryant won two more with Pau Gasol in Los Angeles.

With Golden State falling short of the playoffs, Green has been making the podcast rounds during the postseason, recently picking the Dallas Mavericks to make the NBA Finals out of the Western Conference in addition to explaining who his biggest critics are.

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