OFFICIAL “NEXT KOBE” ON THE LAKERS POWER RANKINGS
1. Jordan Clarkson. This guy definitely has the scoring skills to be the next Kobe for the Lakers. That’s not to say he’ll be as good as Kobe, just that he’ll adequately fill the role of “scoring SG” for the team. There is even a ready-built nickname for him: The Filipino Mamba. That is the kind of nickname that you can build an entire line of branded clothing around. I bet if you asked Kobe he would be totally fine with Clarkson being the next Kobe. Unfortunately, Kobe does not seem to think that well-respected highlight makers are worth responding to on Twitter.
2. D’Angelo Russell. If we assume that he’s not a true point guard, then his obvious position becomes “combo guard”. And half of being a combo guard is being a shooting guard, just like, guess who: KOBE BEAN! However, as far as I know, Kobe never secretly videotaped teammates confessing their infidelity. So Russell loses points there. He also loses points because he has ice in his veins. Kobe had venom in his veins, not ice.
3. Lou Williams. He is a chucker like Kobe was and is perhaps the player on the Lakers most capable of putting up huge point totals in a hurry. However, he is too old to be the next Kobe. The next Kobe has to have at least twelve productive years left in the league to fulfill the Kobe role. Sweet Lou might have half that.
4. Nick Young. Another Kobe-esque chucker, but without the proven track record of totally insane scoring performances. He’s also gotten really bad as he’s gotten older. Just like the real Kobe, but we’re not looking for a player to fill the “38-year-old Kobe” role. We’re looking for a player to fill the “23-year-old Kobe” role. Nick Young certainly does not fill that role at all.
5. Tarik Black. I’m being funny here. Tarik Black is more like the next Chris Mihm.