ESPN ranked Kobe Bryant the 93rd best player in the NBA and people are losing their minds

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Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

ESPN has been steadily releasing its annual #NBArank player rankings, and many fans were stunned to find one of the greatest guards of all time barely sneaking in the top 100.

Bryant is still the top-rated Lakers player according to ESPN, but Roy Hibbert (No. 98) is the only other Laker inside the top 100. Bryant was ranked 40th last year and called ESPN “a bunch of idiots,” so you can imagine how dropping 53 spots irked Lakers fans.

#NBArank really thinks there are 92 players in the league better than Kobe Bryant ???? I need to see credentials ASAP

— Julian Norfleet (@Jfleet23) October 7, 2015

Kobe Bryant has more skill than any other player currently in the league. The rest is just physical. Espn is disrespectful

— The Q is silent (@Migquel) October 7, 2015

Here’s the thing: there are not 92 players who are better at basketball than Kobe Bryant overall, but there are at least 92 players that have proven themselves to be more effective than Kobe Bryant in 2015. ESPN is rightfully not honoring career achievements in a ranking that reflects the 2015-16 season (and only the 2015-16 season).

Bryant is 37 years old. He’s played in 41 of 164 regular season games for the Lakers the past two seasons. He admitted to breaking down late in games last year and his efficiency plummeted in the fourth quarter. Although Bryant averaged more than 20 points per game for the 15th time in his career, Kobe’s shooting percentage (37%) was a career worst. Bryant was second in the league in usage rate, but 75th in PER and 115th in John Hollinger’s estimated wins added ranking — behind Luis Scola, John Henson and Jeremy Lin. The numbers say Kobe Bryant might be the most overrated player in the NBA, and at this point in his career it would be more shocking for Kobe to resemble a top 25 player in the league than it would be for him to fall out of the top 100 entirely.