Dr Positivity wrote: Dr Spaceman wrote:
Zeitgeister wrote:I mean, Kobe was definitely exceptionally athletic but when you compare him to his peers like Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Dwayne Wade, I think it's difficult for me to put him above any of them.
Big Meh on TMac and Vince. Their functional basketball athleticism wasn’t on the level of the GOAT wings IMO. Neither is really impressive at all when it comes to getting to the rim or foul draw rate. Kobe has a better basketball body than either IMO.
I would put Jimmy Butler, for example, 1 or 2 tiers above either guy.
I think Vince’s athleticism is slightly overrated because he’s a better leaper than a slasher and therefore Kobe has a case against him, but he’s still an elite level athlete. Jimmy Butler? No way.
I think the better explanation for Tmac and Vince not getting to the line very much is that they’re softer players than people like Butler and Kobe. Both were criticized their whole prime for not playing with enough heart.
Well allow me to get on my soapbox because I have long been begging people here to take a more holistic view on athleticism.
Strength is the most underrated aspect of athleticism Butler is all-time strong for a wing. This is the main reason his draw rate is so high and he’s so effective as a slasher. He’s also top-tier in body control and has an insane vertical so he can live off Kobe-style fade-aways.
Butler is a historically good offensive rebounder for a wing, maybe GOAT, which is one of the skills most dependent on athleticism. He’s also an excellent shot blocker for a wing despite having poor length and his lateral explosiveness along with his strength allowed him to be a top-tier wing defender for most of his early career. Dude also has ridiculous endurance and would play high-intensity two-way ball while often leading the league in minutes while being coached by Thibs.
He’s not close to Vince or T-Mac as a one foot leaper so he’s not getting a bunch of dunks off the dribble. But his two-foot explosion is elite; tested a 39 inch vertical at the combine, only Isaiah Thomas and Kemba were clearly better in his draft class. Because he’s a two-foot jumper most of his dunks would come off-ball. But if you look at the numbers, he’s not far off Vince at all- in their best seasons, were talking about the difference between 1.0 and 1.1 dunks per game.