Eleventh constitutes a "reputation" result for Kobe, who no longer guards the other team's best player nor locks down his man with consistency over an 82-game regular season (nor, frankly, would you want him to at this point in his career -- best to save the energy for key moments and the postseason).
And while he didn't deserve to win, 18th is too low for Artest, who now carries much of the defensive burden for Bryant and in one-on-one situations is still an outstanding perimeter defender, capable of altering games. Monday, we asked Artest for his opinion on the voting. While sticking up for his own resume, Artest quickly made peace with the outcome in his own way.
"Those coaches know why they put me in screen and rolls. They don't want too many isos with their best players [against me]," he said. "That's why a lot of coaches don't have jobs, and a lot of coaches are gonna be fired. Because the coaches pick, right?"
Nope. It's the media.
"Media pick? Wow."
Oh well. Water off a duck's back. "It's bad judgment," he said of his ranking, "but that's OK. Nobody's perfect."