Kobe Bryant was known for years as the best player in the NBA. Now, the Los Angeles Lakers star isn’t even a top five player, according to ESPN.
"The World Wide Leader" has compiled a list, ranking each player in the league, and Bryant came in at No. 6.
ESPN asked 104 basketball experts to rank every player on a scale of 0-to-10. Bryant received an average score of 8.8.
Bryant comes in just ahead of Kevin Love, who was ranked seventh overall. He was preceded by Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook, who also made the top 10.
In his 16 NBA seasons, Bryant has consistently been one of the best players in the NBA. However, his production has slipped over the past few seasons. He averaged 27.9 points per game in the 2011-12 season, but shot just 43 percent from the field. His shooting percentage has dropped every year since 2010.
Even though he might not be as good as he once was, Bryant is still one of the league’s best. He’s made the All-Star team every year since 2000, and has been named to the All-NBA First Team in each season since 2006.
For the first time since Shaquille O’Neal was on the Lakers, Bryant won’t be the best player on his team. Los Angeles traded for Dwight Howard in the offseason, sending Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia in a four-team deal.
Howard might not become L.A.’s first option on offense, but his defensive prowess and overall game make him the best player on the Lakers. He averaged 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest with Orlando last year.
Howard, along with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and Chris Paul will round out the top five of ESPN’s list. James will likely be named No. 1.
Steve Nash, who Los Angeles also acquired in the offseason, comes in at No. 19 on the list. With Pau Gasol at 15, 80 percent of the Lakers starting lineup is in the top 20.
L.A. made the two biggest trades of the summer to get back in the championship hunt. They've been knocked out in the second round of the playoffs for two straight years, after coming off three straight NBA Finals appearances.