Kobe Bryant may well be "completely healed" heading into the 2014/15 NBA season, but the Lakers superstar's past injury problems resulted in him being snubbed this week.
During the 2011/12 NBA season he had a Tenosynovitis shin injury, during 2012/13 he had a torn achilles tendon and severe ankle sprain, but last year he toppled those injuries by sustaining a knee fracture.
Snubbed from list
The Lakers shooting-guard was once rated as the best player in the NBA, but now the 35-year-old is not even rated as one of the top ten shooting guards in the NBA, according to ESPN.
Brian Doolittle of ESPN feels that Kobe Bryant's injuries have taken their toll on his star power, and ahead of the new season, he places the Lakers star at number 11 in ESPN's shooting guard power rankings.
"As for Bryant, his playing-time forecast is predictably suppressed, but even if it weren’t, his projected winning percentage would just barely get him into the top 10," Doolittle explained using metric stats.
Better than Kobe
Victor Oldaipo, Dion Waiters, Jimmy Butle and Dwyane Wade are all ahead of Bryant in the list, with Wade coming in at number two behind James Harden.
Harden and Wade are certainly in better shape and will outperform Kobe in the upcoming season, regardless of how well Bryant bounces back.
Even Kobe admits that he won't return to his best, and we're more likely to see Bryant dominating assists stats rather than scoring a lot during the 2014/15 season.
But surely predicting that he won't end in the top ten amongst shooting-guards in the upcoming season is a little too far?
If Bryant needed any extra motivation ahead of an injury comeback season, this is definitely it.
It's incredibly unlikely that Bryant will remind fans that he is the best this season. He is no longer the best player in the NBA. We know that. But eleventh amongst NBA shooting-guards is insane.
That's enough for now, but what do you think NBA fans? What number would you put Kobe at right now? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.