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Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Dwyane Wade over Kobe Bryant?

By Brian Kamenetzky

So says Tuesday's "5 on 5" panel at ESPN.com.

Asked "Who is the best shooting guard in the NBA," all five TrueHoop Network bloggers went with Dwyane Wade over Kobe Bryant. (In a separate piece-- Insider required-- ESPN The Magazine's Chris Palmer takes Bryant.) I agree. On a night in, night out basis, Wade is the better, more productive player. Better defensively, and thanks to an ability to attack the rim with near impunity, he has an edge at the other end. Looking at their metrics side-by-side (Kobe here, D-Wade here), to me it's pretty clear.

Some Mamba maniacs will see another example of the haters hating with their Haterade, but shouldn't. Bryant, at 32, is fourth among active players in regular season minutes played with 40,145, nearly double Wade's total. Add another 4,600-plus postseason minutes to Kobe's side of the ledger, as well.

Meanwhile, Wade, who will go down as one of the greatest players in this or any other generation, remains in his prime. It shouldn't be a fair fight. That the answer is even up for debate, let alone one in which Bryant's superiority can be argued, is a great compliment to Kobe.