KB24 wrote:^honestly, I don't even think it was a fiasco with Malone and Payton.
We went to the Finals and we would have probably won it without Malone being hurt all year, coming back and limping through the Finals.
Also payton...had a solid season but was absolutely useless in the Finals. Raped on D by Billups and useless on offense because he wasn't happy with Phil's offense. Shaq was complaining all year about touches, especially in the Finals. And Kobe was awful vs. Prince. It really took a lot of issues for that team to lose and they still made the finals.
I agree. The main reason that team didn't win it all was Malone being old and injured. The rest of the issues were all relatively minor in comparison, yet amplified due to the Los Angeles media spotlight. Phil didn't have complete control when it all started unraveling in the Finals. I don't see it as a "fiasco", just a solid attempt that failed.
The biggest difference between that team and this one is that two of the big names that were added (Payton and Malone) were the biggest reasons why the team couldn't pull it off. Malone was too old and hurt, while Payton was a shell of his former self and just didn't fit in the system. The chemistry wasn't there and yet they still were only 3 wins away from being champs.
This team doesn't have those same types of players. Nash is old but still very effective and has a team-first attitude - let's just hope his body holds up. Howard is young and is the new face of the franchise and doesn't have a massive ego. Kobe has the biggest ego on the team but he knows what it takes to win and I believe that will help him adapt however he needs to. Pau will contribute when needed and proved he had plenty left with his performance in the Olympics. We don't have the egos or the clashing personalities/player types on this team that we had on that 2004 team, and that should help quite a bit.
I agree with you KB24 - it's unbelievable what this organization has been able to do over the past decade, and especially the past two offseasons. I'm very spoiled as a fan.