Kobe Bryant has been ranked the No. 40 in the NBA by ESPN's panel of media voters. Naturally, Kobe Bryant didn't agree with this ranking, joking that the voters have always been "a bunch of idiots." (h/t to Lakers Nation)
ESPN had Bryant as the fourth-best player in the league as recent as April 2013. However, that ranking came just days before Bryant tore his Achilles in one of the final games of the season that year.
Heading into the 2013-14 NBA season, ESPN's ranking had Bryant as the No. 25 player in the NBA. That drop in ranking was met with some backlash, although it made some sense given his age and injury. He proceeded to play in just six games last season due to the Achilles injury and a knee injury suffered shortly after his return to the court.
Given all the circumstances surrounding Bryant, a No. 40 ranking this season shouldn't come as much of a surprise. His response was also rather predictable, and this isn't the first time he's taken objection with an ESPN ranking:
12th I see..— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 14, 2013
Bryant very well could outplay his No. 40 ranking, and he scored 27 points in 28 minutes against the Utah Jazz on Thursday night. However, this performance was in a 33-point loss, and even a bounce-back effort from the five-time champion this season likely won't save the Lakers from another rough campaign.