Kobe Bryant was listed as only the 40th best player in the NBA in a recent poll by ESPN, with the sports broadcaster presumably unconvinced that the Los Angeles Lakers legend will be able to return to his previous heights following two seasons ruined by injury.
A fair assumption you might think, although to suggest that there are 39 better players currently plying their trade in the NBA than the 16-time All-Star may be stretching the point a little perhaps.
And, as you might expect, the 16-time All-Star wasn't exactly impressed with the decision, reacting in typical Kobe style when asked for his opinion this week.
"I've known for a long time they are a bunch of idiots," explained Bryant.
The reporter posing the question to Kobe had wondered whether, considering his stature in the game, a snub such as that from ESPN would be a motivating factor going into the new NBA season. Kobe's response was priceless.
"I tend to use things for motivation that tend to be in the realms of reality."
In ESPN's 2013-14 season 'Top 40' list Kobe Bryant saw his name come in at 25th spot as question marks remained concerning his ability to recover from a fairly brutal achilles injury.
He wasn't happy with that decision then, so it is no wonder 39th spot seems crazy to him 12 months on.
After making just six regular-season starts since (and none since December 2013), there is an argument however that Bryant has done little to prove he still ranks amongst the game's best as he enters his nineteenth year in the pros.
Kobe was already intent on proving the doubters wrong going into the second year of his monster contract so perhaps the poll won't act as a motivational tool in the months ahead. Nevertheless, there cannot be anyone out there who isn't excited to see just how many of his peers Bryant can usurp on his comeback mission this season.
For what it is worth, we would still back the Black Mamba one-on-one over almost anyone in the league right now.