Not to already beat this Kobe-KG historical context thing into the ground, but I have to say I disagree with Jack in automatically placing Kobe above KG at this point in their careers. Obviously this can all change in the next couple of years (or even by the end of this series), but right now I cannot rate Kobe any higher than Garnett historically. Kobe got to play with one of the three or four most dominant players ever. At his peak I don't know if anybody was better than Shaq. Don't you think KG would have liked that opportunity? Kobe's incomparable partner-in-crime and their location (Global Media Head, California)has made his status bigger than it ever would be leading 44 win teams out of Minnesota. So judge Kobe a little more objectively, I say, at least till he takes his team all the way to the promised land.
Speaking of Garnett, do you know what Lakers' big men play significant minutes? Gasol, Odom, and Turiaf. That's it. Talented for sure, but hardly large and imposing. I'm surprised this isn't being talked about more. The Lakers have been able to go "small" and have a limited big man rotation without dire consequences. That could all change this series. One would believe KG could often have his way on the inside. And you know who could also probably? OUR FRIEND, LEON POWE. Remember him? You know, the guy who quietly dominated most of the season? And who Glenn will now never play for more than ten minutes, if at all? Oh yeah, that guy. Listen, PJ is a pretty good defender, but his playoff PER is all of 8.9, so let's stop with all the accolades. Get Leon in there and don't take him out unless he fucks up numerous times. You're gonna need offense against the Lakers, and Leon helps provide it. PJ does not. Plus, Powe should be able to guard the Lakers' bigs decently, as none of them are really centers in the first place. Glenn is still probably wishing he had John Amaechi for this series, though (read that link, it's what you'd expect from Rivers.)
Also, I have to touch on the crazy Dwyane Wade trade rumor, because it's so zany it possibly might be true. I love Wade, and in my mind he's one of only a handful of guys you simply don't ever even consider trading unless you get an equally untradeable commodity in return (read: LeBron, Kobe, Howard, Paul - and that's probably it.) But maybe, because of Dwyane's injuries, Miami no longer feels that way, even though they can't say it. And if there was ever a team that could put together an enticing package for an "untouchable" superstar it would be the Bulls - we're talking something like the #1 pick and a resigned Deng as the major pieces, or maybe Noah and Tyrus Thomas in place of Deng. That's considerable talent Miami would be getting. I dare say the majority of people would agree with Riley if he pulled the trigger on such a deal.
But I wouldn't. As we found out with KG this year, the elite great ones can totally transform your team. And a healthy Wade is exactly that type of player - the kind of constellation that is worth more than Beasely and Deng, as unlikely as that might sound to some. The stars of stars blind everyone else, and in 2006 Wade showed he clearly was one of those. And I will go out on a limb and say that if he remains healthy Dwyane Wade will be remembered as being better than either KG or Kobe twenty years from now.