2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Who would you draft?

2006 Kobe
43
81%
2012 LeBron
10
18%
 
Total votes : 53

Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:32 pm

I'm not sure i buy it, that Kobe was playing the wrong way in 2004-2007 because he scored too much. He's a shooting guard, not a pg, not a point-forward. If your best player was a center, would you say that he was playing badly because he doesn't set up his other teammates? No, he's a center for chrissakes, not a point guard. MJ was at his best when he was destroying people on offense, not when he was playing half-witted point guard through Phil's recommendation.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby odom1year on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:19 pm

It's 50-50. If Ray Allen misses the last shot in game 6, I would pick Kobe without any question.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby Finwë on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:45 pm

Lets Go Lakers wrote:I really don't know what the Kobe defenders are trying to say. Are you actually DENYING that Kobe didn't play selfish ball at times when his supporting cast was subpar? I certainly hope not. Because he clearly did and Phil Jackson completely confirmed this.

Or are you simply excusing his ball hogging ways because the team was bad and they didn't have much to work with? If that's the case, it simply proves my point that Kobe was trying to get his when he knew the team had no chance to win and only decided to play team ball when he knew the team was good enough to compete. Translation, he finally matured. And that is a stark contrast from a guy like LeBron or Magic or CP3, guys who, no matter how bad the team, would always try to play basketball the right way. I.e. team game, move the ball, move yourselves, and try to create the easiest basket possible.

Now, if the supporting cast was top notch right after Shaq left, would Kobe have matured quicker? Maybe, maybe not. But Kobe has proven time and time again that when he thinks the teams isn't good enough, he tries to do too much and again, Phil completely confirmed this theory. Like the 04 and 08 finals.

At his peak, I would put Kobe right up there with MJ as the most devastating and complete offensive force ever. He was just that good. But this isn't about his talents. This is about how he played the game. And he didn't play the game the right way during those down years. You can excuse it all you want but it is what it is. That's all i'm saying.

......
Such a silly narrative IMO .. "maturing".
Kobe already knew how to win and knew what it took to win. He just had a terrible team with him during those "down years" as you call them.
It's not inmaturity or maturity -> it's logic. "I have a terrible team with me. Smush Parker is my PG. Luke Walton is a starter. There's absolutely no chance we win. I'm the most talented player in the NBA. Can I at least get a few records, I dunno, show the world my talent?" --- then Lakers get Pau --- "Wow, Pau Gasol. This team is looking good. OK, let's get this thing. We now have a decent shot at being a contending team" *leads team to 3 straight finals appearances*
I seriously think that's what the mindframe was, and I completely get it.
Until the Pau trade, we had NO shot of winning anything, no matter how Kobe played. The team was just that bad.
No reason to hide your talent (in the benefit of guys who aren't even good or driven to become better).. Especially considering that I seriously doubt that a more pass-first Kobe would've actually improved the team. We didn't really have great shooters or slashers to make that work..

wcsoldier gets it:
wcsoldier81 wrote:plus Kobe led his team to the Finals 4 months after we acquired the player who will make us a legit contender in Pau ... quickest maturation ever !

it was always about talent.
Not saying that the way you play doesn't matter - it does. But not even close in importance as talent and coaching is.
Last edited by Finwë on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby Finwë on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:47 pm

odom1year wrote:It's 50-50. If Ray Allen misses the last shot in game 6, I would pick Kobe without any question.

Now, what does that say about your criteria ?
:man10:
"The first time I ever saw my uniform hanging in the locker I put it on right away, and it just felt like I was putting on golden armour. From that day forward, I just called it 'the golden armour', it just felt like there was something mystical and magical about it" - Kobe Bryant.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby odom1year on Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:00 am

Finwë wrote:
odom1year wrote:It's 50-50. If Ray Allen misses the last shot in game 6, I would pick Kobe without any question.

Now, what does that say about your criteria ?
:man10:


Image

Just saying Lebron choked mostly, Ray Allen saved his life.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby LTLakerFan on Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:33 am

odom1year wrote:
Finwë wrote:
odom1year wrote:It's 50-50. If Ray Allen misses the last shot in game 6, I would pick Kobe without any question.

Now, what does that say about your criteria ?
:man10:


Image

Just saying Lebron choked mostly, Ray Allen saved his life.


Alllrriiiiightt...... come on ......what are you really up to here ....... I smell a diversionary tactic :man10: Leopards ..... spots ??
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:47 am

Finwë wrote:
Lets Go Lakers wrote:I really don't know what the Kobe defenders are trying to say. Are you actually DENYING that Kobe didn't play selfish ball at times when his supporting cast was subpar? I certainly hope not. Because he clearly did and Phil Jackson completely confirmed this.

Or are you simply excusing his ball hogging ways because the team was bad and they didn't have much to work with? If that's the case, it simply proves my point that Kobe was trying to get his when he knew the team had no chance to win and only decided to play team ball when he knew the team was good enough to compete. Translation, he finally matured. And that is a stark contrast from a guy like LeBron or Magic or CP3, guys who, no matter how bad the team, would always try to play basketball the right way. I.e. team game, move the ball, move yourselves, and try to create the easiest basket possible.

Now, if the supporting cast was top notch right after Shaq left, would Kobe have matured quicker? Maybe, maybe not. But Kobe has proven time and time again that when he thinks the teams isn't good enough, he tries to do too much and again, Phil completely confirmed this theory. Like the 04 and 08 finals.

At his peak, I would put Kobe right up there with MJ as the most devastating and complete offensive force ever. He was just that good. But this isn't about his talents. This is about how he played the game. And he didn't play the game the right way during those down years. You can excuse it all you want but it is what it is. That's all i'm saying.

......
Such a silly narrative IMO .. "maturing".
Kobe already knew how to win and knew what it took to win. He just had a terrible team with him during those "down years" as you call them.
It's not inmaturity or maturity -> it's logic. "I have a terrible team with me. Smush Parker is my PG. Luke Walton is a starter. There's absolutely no chance we win. I'm the most talented player in the NBA. Can I at least get a few records, I dunno, show the world my talent?" --- then Lakers get Pau --- "Wow, Pau Gasol. This team is looking good. OK, let's get this thing. We now have a decent shot at being a contending team" *leads team to 3 straight finals appearances*
I seriously think that's what the mindframe was, and I completely get it.
Until the Pau trade, we had NO shot of winning anything, no matter how Kobe played. The team was just that bad.
No reason to hide your talent (in the benefit of guys who aren't even good or driven to become better).. Especially considering that I seriously doubt that a more pass-first Kobe would've actually improved the team. We didn't really have great shooters or slashers to make that work..

wcsoldier gets it:
wcsoldier81 wrote:plus Kobe led his team to the Finals 4 months after we acquired the player who will make us a legit contender in Pau ... quickest maturation ever !

it was always about talent.
Not saying that the way you play doesn't matter - it does. But not even close in importance as talent and coaching is.


Yes, Kobe won 3 rings prior to 2006 but had not done so as lead dog. So he didn't win any as "the man" and that's a huge difference. I mentioned those reasons in a previous post.

But we are both in agreement for the most part. We both agree that Kobe played selfish ball at times during the down years. I guess the only thing we disagree on is WHY he played this way. You say it's simply the lack of talent. And that's perfectly reasonable and you can't blame him for doing so given his talent and confidence. But on the flip side, had he shown more of a willingness to play team ball during this down time and tried to elevate the level of play of his teammates, I would've said he had matured during this time and it was simply the lack of talent that kept him from winning. But that wasn't the case. He only changed his style of play from me ball to team ball when he knew he had the actual talent to contend for a title. So in that sense, yes, he did finally mature just like MJ did later in his career. All time great players elevate the level of play of their teammates. The Kobe from 2005-07 didn't do that. The Kobe from 2008 on did. That's the difference and that's my point.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:49 am

LTLakerFan wrote:
odom1year wrote:
Finwë wrote:
odom1year wrote:It's 50-50. If Ray Allen misses the last shot in game 6, I would pick Kobe without any question.

Now, what does that say about your criteria ?
:man10:


Image

Just saying Lebron choked mostly, Ray Allen saved his life.


Alllrriiiiightt...... come on ......what are you really up to here ....... I smell a diversionary tactic :man10: Leopards ..... spots ??


He left out game 6 and 7.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby LTLakerFan on Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:06 am

No he was entirely correct, Popovich, choked free throws and Allen saved the "King" from a horrible summer and the questions all over again. I just don't buy the sincerity based on 98% of his other posts.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:36 am

LTLakerFan wrote:No he was entirely correct, Popovich, choked free throws and Allen saved the "King" from a horrible summer and the questions all over again. I just don't buy the sincerity based on 98% of his other posts.


Dude was clutch as hell in games 6 and 7, especially 7. He was amazing, hitting almost every key jumper. Yeah, Allen saved Miami's season but James took them to the top.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby LTLakerFan on Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:18 am

Point being if you are the MAN and GOAT how do you be that effing passive and no show for the 1st 5 games in the 4th freaking quarters to get it to the point that pure luck had to intervene and save him.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby lakerfan2 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:11 pm

lol. Shaq couldn't do it without Kobe. Please stop the Kobe wasn't the lead dog on those three-peat teams. They were co-leaders respectively to what they brought. Without each other at that time, they win nothing.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby retro_nights on Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:23 pm

So if we're reaching, Sasha saved Kobes terrible shooting performance in game 7. Oh but he had so many rebounds! Not like Lebron damn near averages a triple double or anything.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby LTLakerFan on Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:56 pm

"Reaching" :man10: :man10: :man10: 5 straight games? 4th quarter! Lebron freaking James. What were the "statistics" of Kobe's effort in the 4th quarters of all those 7 games against the freaking Boston Celtics?
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby odom1year on Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:25 pm

Lets Go Lakers wrote:
LTLakerFan wrote:No he was entirely correct, Popovich, choked free throws and Allen saved the "King" from a horrible summer and the questions all over again. I just don't buy the sincerity based on 98% of his other posts.


Dude was clutch as hell in games 6 and 7, especially 7. He was amazing, hitting almost every key jumper. Yeah, Allen saved Miami's season but James took them to the top.


It's totally wrong. Lebron had two consecutive critical turnovers after Spurs took the lead in last mins. If not Spurs choking and Ray's 3, Lebron is just a joke like 2011.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby LTLakerFan on Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:38 pm

:man10: :man10: :man10: I'm still not buying this, though you are speaking the truth. And have loved LeBron for playing the "right way" vs how Kobe plays all damn season long. You are up to something. :man10: I don't believe a light just went off in your head. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there is hope for you...... :man4:

I am searching trying to get statistics for points, shots, assists, rebounds & everything for Kobe for the 7 4th quarters against our greatest rival for all the marbles in 2010, but no luck So Far. I did come across this long blog on Silver Screen and Roll however, trying to put that game 7 by Kobe in perspective.


http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2010 ... erspective

Kobe Bryant's Game 7 in Perspective
By Josh Tucker  @J0shTucker on Jun 21 2010, 8:00am

Ladies and gentlemen, your Lakers are world champions once again, and Kobe Bryant is your Finals MVP. He was magnificent in this series, resplendent in this win. He epitomized the Lakers team that he led to victory. But your fearless leaders here at SS&R are no fools, and they can read the signs. They know that before going into hiding, the "haters" will take one final, last-ditch shot at tearing Kobe down and devaluing his performance in this game and this series, and so I have been asked to end that discussion before it starts. I can't say that I mind the assignment.

So let's go ahead and get the "but" on the table. Kobe Bryant is the 2010 Finals MVP, but the haters will point to this: In perhaps the biggest game of his career, he shot only 6-24 from the field, needing 24 shots to score his 23 points. They'll argue that he was inefficient, that his play hurt the Lakers more than it helped them (or something absurd along those lines), that he failed to rise to the occasion the way other greats like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan did in the Finals, and perhaps even that Pau Gasol was better and more valuable to the Lakers.

Excuse me while I gargle. What complete and utter hogwash.

Poor Shooting vs. A Defensive Game for the Ages
Let's put that 6-24 into perspective, shall we?

In Game 7, Pau Gasol shot 6-16 (and was 3-12 at halftime). Ron Artest, the hero of the hour, was 7-18 from the field. Andrew Bynum played limited minutes, but at 1-5, he also struggled while he was on the court. Lamar Odom was 3-8. Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown and Sasha Vujacic combined to shoot 0-6. Only Derek Fisher, at 10 points on 4-6 from the field (and 2-2 from distance, including a huge three late in the game), had a good shooting night for the Lakers.

For the Celtics, Paul Pierce was 5-15 from the field. Rajon Rondo was 6-13, which was actually pretty decent in this game, but nothing amazing. Ray Allen was a dismal 3-14. Nate Robinson missed his only shot. Rasheed Wallace's percentage from the field isn't bad, especially considering he took four three-pointers, but the 11 shots he needed to score 11 points puts him about on par with Kobe with regards to offensive efficiency. Glen Davis was good, but his efficiency (4-6 from the field) didn't come in high enough volume (only six points in 21 minutes) to really have much impact for the Celtics. Only Kevin Garnett had "a good game" offensively for the Celtics, shooting well over fifty percent and scoring 18 points on only 13 shots.

The criticism of Kobe's offensive output in Game 7 is that he needed 24 shots to get his 23 points. However, the same is true of just about every player in this game. Virtually every player listed above took essentially as many shots as he had points. In fact, that is true of both teams overall: The Celtics took 71 shots to score 79 points (1.1 points per shot), while the Lakers took 83 shots to score their 83 points. At this point, here is the question that needs to be asked: Why are we holding Kobe Bryant to a different standard?

The point is that this game was characterized by truly incredible defense, from both teams. In fact, from a defensive standpoint, I don't believe I have ever seen anything that compares, or even comes close. Expecting a player to score every bit as efficiently against that Game 7 Celtics defense as he does against far inferior defenses is simply asinine. It's like expecting a cyclist to ride as quickly up the steep slopes of the Pyrenees mountains, and into the wind, as he does on flat land with the wind at his back. It's like expecting a swimmer to swim as quickly against the current of a raging Atlantic sea as he does in an indoor lap pool. It's like expecting a car to drive as quickly and handle as smoothly on sand as it does on asphalt. It's— well, you get the point. It's absurd.

Michael Jordan would have struggled to score against that Celtics defense. So would Magic Johnson, Jerry West, and Wilt Chamberlain. LeBron James did struggle against them. This was a Celtics team that played some of the best defense that anyone has ever seen, and in that Game 7, they took it to yet another level. Kobe wasn't the only player to struggle with his shot; in fact, if you remove his statistics from the Lakers' box score, the Lakers' shooting percentage is virtually unchanged. So let's not pretend that Kobe's shots were hurting the Lakers; the rest of the team was struggling just as much as he was.

Is 6-24 a pretty number? No. It certainly wasn't one of the greatest offensive performances of all time. But those interested in evaluating the game based on real insight, rather than nearly useless box score clichés, will recognize that 6-24 had fairly little to do with bad offense from Kobe, and a lot more to do with defense for the ages from the Celtics. And that defense affected everyone on the court for the Lakers (except, of course, for Derek Fisher), not just Kobe.

Boston's Defense in Perspective
To see the effects of Boston's defense, have a look at Pau Gasol, whom some advocated as the "real MVP" of this series. He shot .536 in the regular season and .565 in the playoffs before the Finals, but only .478 against Boston. That's a drop of .058 compared to the regular season, and .087 compared to the rest of the playoffs.

How about LeBron James? He shot .503 from the field in the regular season, and .567 in the playoffs prior to meeting Boston. Against the Celtics, however, he shot only .447. That's a .056 drop compared to the regular season, and a .120 drop compared to the rest of the playoffs.

Kobe Bryant shot .456 from the field in the regular season, and .483 in the playoffs prior to meeting Boston. Against the Celtics, he shot .405. Viewed alongside James and Gasol, Kobe's .051 drop in field goal percentage compared to the regular season, and .078 compared to the rest of the playoffs, actually seems quite normal. In fact, both Pau and LeBron suffered larger overall drops in shooting efficiency against the Celtics than did Kobe.

This is what the Celtics do. If you expect to score at an extremely efficient rate against them, you're going to be disappointed. Sometimes it seems like an accomplishment just to score against them at all. This is something we all immediately recognize... except when we're talking about Kobe Bryant. Perhaps it should be seen as a compliment to Bryant that he's expected to be immune to the defense that has had the same effect on everyone else. But isn't it interesting that so many of those who have for years proclaimed the box score to be inherently flawed can't seem to get past a single box score statistic in evaluating Kobe's Game 7 performance?

Putting History's Greatest Players in a Defensive Context
Let's try and place Boston's D within the larger context, shall we?

Michael Jordan appeared in six NBA Finals series. These are the defensive ratings (points allowed per 100 possessions) of those six teams: 105.0, 104.2, 106.7, 102.1, 104.0, and 105.4.

Magic Johnson appeared in nine NBA Finals series. These are the defensive ratings of those nine teams (Celtics teams in italics, teams that beat Magic's Lakers in bold): 101.0, 103.9, 100.9, 104.4, 106.3, 106.8, 105.3, 104.7, 105.2.

This year's Celtics team had a defensive rating of 103.8. That's better than five of the six defenses Jordan faced in the Finals; it's better than seven of the nine teams Magic faced in the Finals.

But even that is misleading, since even the dullest of NBA observers knows full well that the Celtics in 2009-10 regular season were nothing like the team that showed up for the playoffs — let alone the team that nearly won the NBA championship. During the regular season, this Celtics team employed a deliberate strategy of saving their best players for the post-season. As a result, over their final 54 games they were 27-27. Their defense in the regular season, after Christmas, was barely a shadow of the defense they played in the playoffs. In fact, it was actually quite bad.

Perhaps that is the most significant indicator in all of this. Their regular season defense, when compared to the way they played in the playoffs and especially the Finals, was really pretty terrible — and yet, it was better than that of 12 of the 15 teams Magic and Michael played in the Finals.

Meanwhile, the Celtics' defense in the 2010 Finals, particularly in that Game 7, was much more reminiscent of their team that won the 2008 NBA Championship. That team's defensive rating? 98.9.

Michael Jordan never played against that kind of defense in the Finals. And yet, in nine of the 35 games he played in the NBA Finals, he took more or less the same number of shots as he had points — including one in which he took 43 shots to score 44 points!

Very few NBA Finals game logs exist for Magic Johnson, but in the one season I could find, he had one game in which he took 13 shots to score 14 points against a Chicago defense that rated at 105.2 points allowed per possession. Despite never playing against a team with a defensive rating below 100 points per possession, we can safely assume that in eight other Finals appearances, Magic likely had a number of other games in which his offensive output resembled Kobe's in Game 7.

Neither Magic nor Michael ever faced a team in the Finals with a defensive rating below 100 points per possession. Kobe has done it twice. The first time was with a team of inexperienced players, most of whom had never been out of the first round; only Derek Fisher and Luke Walton had ever been to the Finals, and Luke Walton had been a rookie at the time, averaging only seven minutes per game. Pau Gasol had only been with the Lakers for three months.

The second time Kobe faced a defense of that caliber, he took those same players and beat it.

The Box Score and the Double Standard
Perhaps what irks me the most is the double standard critics continually employ to devalue Kobe Bryant's play. When he was younger, his critics devalued his play by claiming that he was "just a great scorer," and nothing more. This was, of course, not true; Kobe has virtually always led the Lakers in assists, has always rebounded well for a guard, and is one of the few players who is great on both ends of the floor. But his detractors recognized none of this; to them, he was "a great scorer," but nothing else. They painted him as one-dimensional and elevated over him other players whom they saw as doing more things than just scoring to help their team win.

In that context, perhaps you can understand how frustrating it is to hear people talking about Kobe Bryant having a bad, or even terrible game on the basis of one thing, and one thing only: his struggle to score. The reality is that Kobe did so much more than score in Game 7, and much of what he did contributed directly to the Lakers' victory.

Whatever It Takes
An MVP-caliber player is not necessarily the guy that scores a lot. An MVP is a player who does whatever is necessary for his team to win. Sometimes, as was the case in Game 6 of the WCF or in Game 5 of this series (even though it resulted in a loss), that means taking over and scoring lots of points. Sometimes, as was the case in most of the WCF, it means dishing out lots of assists.

Sometimes, it means grabbing rebounds and playing defense. That was the case in this series. In all seven games, the team that won the rebounding battle won the game. Every NBA observer in the world understood that the key to this game, not only for the Lakers but for both teams, was to rebound the ball. Pre-game articles and studio crews hammered that point into the ground. By the time the game started, it almost seemed as though nothing else even mattered.

In that context, Kobe Bryant grabbed 15 rebounds. That's more than Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum, combined. Or Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum. Or Lamar Odom and Ron Artest. It's more than Rasheed Wallace, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, combined. It's more than Big Baby and Kevin Garnett, combined. In fact, it's five times as many rebounds as Garnett, and three times as many as Artest or Bynum, and twice as many as Odom or Wallace. I could go on, but you get the idea. The only player that out-rebounded Kobe Bryant was Pau Gasol — and despite playing under the rim and towering over Kobe, Gasol's 18 rebounds barely outpaced Bryant's 15.

Together, Kobe and Pau out-rebounded the Celtics' starting five, 33-31.

The Lakers won this game not because of Ron Artest's second quarter scoring or Pau Gasol's second half shooting. They won this game by out-rebounding the Celtics, and while Pau Gasol's 18 rebounds should absolutely not be undervalued, they were not necessarily uncharacteristic; after all, he averaged 14.5 rebounds in the conference semifinals. It was Kobe's truly remarkable rebounding that set the tone for the Lakers and led them to a 53-40 rebounding advantage that decided the game.

When they weren't dominating the Celtics on the boards, the Lakers were suffocating the Celtics on the defensive end. In the pivotal third quarter stretch, the Lakers held the Celtics to only 17 points, while cutting a 13-point lead to four. In the entire second half, Bryant held Rajon Rondo to eight points on 3-7 shooting, five assists, and three rebounds.

Finally, in the final period, Kobe Bryant took control of the game by being aggressive, getting the Celtics into foul trouble, and getting to the line. While he missed all but one of his shots, he got to the line nine times, hitting eight shots. Those who have emphasized the 24 shots Bryant needed to scored 23 points may want to pay attention to the work he did in the fourth quarter, where he scored 10 points on only four shots. Forget the final game — in the final quarter of this series, Kobe Bryant took control and dominated.

In a post-game interview, Kobe was asked what his mindset was in the game, in light of his poor shooting, and what he did to still put his imprint on the game. His response effectively sums up the effort to lead his team to a repeat championship:

"Two things. Get to the free throw line; I got to attack. My jumper's not falling, I got to figure out some gaps, which is tough to do against this team. They do a great job shrinking the floor. So I had to get to the free throw line, and I had to rebound the ball. You know, rebounding has won every single game in this series, and I had to make sure I got my little behind on there."
Commentators often speak of great players doing whatever they can to help their team, when their shot isn't falling. You know what I'm talking about — in your best Mark Jackson voice, say it along with me: "His shot isn't falling, but he's doing other things to impact them game!" Why is it, then, that no one seems willing to point out the many ways Kobe did just that in Game 7?

Do they think it's coincidence that in a series so clearly influenced by rebounding, in the final game for all the marbles, a 200-pound guard of average size, with old knees and waning athleticism, just happens to pull down 15 rebounds?

The Bottom Line
No one is saying Kobe didn't struggle to score in Game 7 — at least, through the first three quarters. What we're saying is that even the greatest of the greats would have struggled against Boston's defense, as have all who have faced it. They can say that Michael or Magic wouldn't have struggled so much in a Finals Game 7, but neither of them faced a defense like this one. Jordan, meanwhile, never played in a seventh game in the Finals, so we'll never know what he would have done in such a game. Knowing MJ, he likely would have tried to take over the game himself, much as Kobe did — and against this Boston defense, the result likely would have been pretty similar.

Some have said, at various points throughout the series, that Pau Gasol was the Lakers' MVP of the Finals. After the game, one of my friends said to me, "Kobe is the MVP of the entire series, but if it were based on a single game, Pau Gasol or Ron Artest would be the MVP of Game 7."

It is true that Ron Artest was huge for the Lakers, particularly in the second period, when the rest of the team struggled. Without his second quarter offense, or his defense throughout the game, the Lakers' comeback would have been impossible. For that, he would be deserving Game 7 MVP. At the same time, however, it was Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol who dominated the rebounding game, and it was Kobe and Pau who attacked the Celtics in the fourth quarter, putting the Celtics in the penalty early and getting to the line a combined 18 times in the period.

In fact, Gasol and Bryant had nearly mirror image games from start to finish. Both shot poorly in the game; at halftime, Gasol was 3-12 and Bryant was 3-14. Both players dominated the glass, pulling down 18 and 15 rebounds, respectively. Specifically, both players had eight rebounds in the second half. Finally, both players got to the line 11 times in the second half, including nine each in the fourth quarter. Gasol was better from the field in the second half, going 3-4 to Kobe's 3-10; Bryant was better from the line, going 10-11 to Gasol's 7-11.

But the offense doesn't run through Ron Artest or Pau Gasol; it runs through Kobe Bryant, and so the responsibility falls on him. As Doc Rivers said after Game 3, another game in which Kobe struggled with his shot:

"He struggled from the field, but he did make a lot of plays. I think people fail to realize the reason a lot of the other guys are open is because Kobe Bryant is on the floor."
It was Kobe who drew double and triple teams, leaving other players open two and three passes down the line. And in that critical final frame, he showed once again that the fourth quarter belongs to Kobe Bryant, as he scored 10 points on only four field goal attempts.

At the end of the day, it wasn't Kobe's best game. But he was better than Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, better than Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. He was as good as Ron Artest and Pau Gasol, and the three of them fought and struggled their way, in a manner both ugly and beautiful, to lead the Lakers to victory.

Rebounding won the series, and Kobe Bryant averaged 8.0 rebounds per game in the Finals — more than any Celtics, and second only to Pau Gasol. Game 7 wasn't the best game of his career, but he pulled down 15 rebounds and dominated the fourth quarter, leading the Lakers to victory. I'd say it was still pretty good.

If I had to pick an MVP for Game 7, I don't know what I'd do. The Lakers couldn't have won without Artest's defense, or his second quarter offense, but neither could they have survived the fourth quarter without either half of their one-two punch. Fittingly for this particular game, all three struggled, and yet all three led their team to victory despite their struggles.

Merely Mortal
I'll leave you with this thought (I know what you're thinking: "Finally!"): Kobe's post-game press conference after Game 7 was the most honest, open, and transparent that we've ever seen him. As our own C.A. Clark already pointed out, he was more vulnerable than we've ever seen with this quote:

You know, I just wanted it so bad. I wanted it so, so bad. Plus, I was on [Empty]. Man, I was really, really tried. And the more I tried to push, the more it kept getting away from me.
As Ron Artest said in his post-game presser, Kobe was just trying to win. And you know what? At the end of the day, even Kobe Bryant is a human being. Even Kobe Bryant can become overwhelmed by the moment, and even Kobe can have a bad shooting night. Guess what? It's happened to all the great players who came before him, and it will happen to all those who come after him.

If you can't afford him his humanity, you don't deserve to watch this great sport.

But like C.A. said, though the moment overwhelmed him briefly, he responded with the heart of a champion, controlled the game by rebounding the ball, attacking the Celtics' defense, and getting to the free throw line in the fourth quarter, and led his team to victory. In a world that has yet to succumb to being overrun by machines and robots... what more can you ask for? After this game, Kobe's dad said it best: "When you don’t have your game and you find a way, that’s a champion."

Shouldn't we celebrating and marveling at what Kobe was able to do to overcome his his shooting woes, rather than picking holes in a game that was, ultimately, worthy of a champion?
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:56 pm

odom1year wrote:
Lets Go Lakers wrote:
LTLakerFan wrote:No he was entirely correct, Popovich, choked free throws and Allen saved the "King" from a horrible summer and the questions all over again. I just don't buy the sincerity based on 98% of his other posts.


Dude was clutch as hell in games 6 and 7, especially 7. He was amazing, hitting almost every key jumper. Yeah, Allen saved Miami's season but James took them to the top.


It's totally wrong. Lebron had two consecutive critical turnovers after Spurs took the lead in last mins. If not Spurs choking and Ray's 3, Lebron is just a joke like 2011.


No doubt. He had a great 4th but nearly gave the game away in the last minute. If Allen misses that 3, Lebron is currently being crucified beyond reason right now by the entire world. This year was a huge make or break year in terms of his legacy.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:10 pm

Spurs ran out of team down the stretch. Just like the Celts did against the Lakers in game 7.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby Rooscooter on Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:35 pm

LTLakerFan with the epic post...... :bow:
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby Finwë on Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:47 pm

odom1year wrote:
Finwë wrote:
odom1year wrote:It's 50-50. If Ray Allen misses the last shot in game 6, I would pick Kobe without any question.

Now, what does that say about your criteria ?
:man10:


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Just saying Lebron choked mostly, Ray Allen saved his life.

...
I don't think you got my point.
You are essentially saying that you aren't picking Kobe and it's 50-50, and you justify it saying that Ray Allen saved LeBron's life. How is that reasonable?
"The first time I ever saw my uniform hanging in the locker I put it on right away, and it just felt like I was putting on golden armour. From that day forward, I just called it 'the golden armour', it just felt like there was something mystical and magical about it" - Kobe Bryant.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby Finwë on Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:10 pm

Lets Go Lakers wrote:
Finwë wrote:Such a silly narrative IMO .. "maturing".
Kobe already knew how to win and knew what it took to win. He just had a terrible team with him during those "down years" as you call them.
It's not inmaturity or maturity -> it's logic. "I have a terrible team with me. Smush Parker is my PG. Luke Walton is a starter. There's absolutely no chance we win. I'm the most talented player in the NBA. Can I at least get a few records, I dunno, show the world my talent?" --- then Lakers get Pau --- "Wow, Pau Gasol. This team is looking good. OK, let's get this thing. We now have a decent shot at being a contending team" *leads team to 3 straight finals appearances*
I seriously think that's what the mindframe was, and I completely get it.
Until the Pau trade, we had NO shot of winning anything, no matter how Kobe played. The team was just that bad.
No reason to hide your talent (in the benefit of guys who aren't even good or driven to become better).. Especially considering that I seriously doubt that a more pass-first Kobe would've actually improved the team. We didn't really have great shooters or slashers to make that work..

wcsoldier gets it:
wcsoldier81 wrote:plus Kobe led his team to the Finals 4 months after we acquired the player who will make us a legit contender in Pau ... quickest maturation ever !

it was always about talent.
Not saying that the way you play doesn't matter - it does. But not even close in importance as talent and coaching is.


Yes, Kobe won 3 rings prior to 2006 but had not done so as lead dog. So he didn't win any as "the man" and that's a huge difference. I mentioned those reasons in a previous post.

But we are both in agreement for the most part. We both agree that Kobe played selfish ball at times during the down years. I guess the only thing we disagree on is WHY he played this way. You say it's simply the lack of talent. And that's perfectly reasonable and you can't blame him for doing so given his talent and confidence. But on the flip side, had he shown more of a willingness to play team ball during this down time and tried to elevate the level of play of his teammates, I would've said he had matured during this time and it was simply the lack of talent that kept him from winning. But that wasn't the case. He only changed his style of play from me ball to team ball when he knew he had the actual talent to contend for a title. So in that sense, yes, he did finally mature just like MJ did later in his career. All time great players elevate the level of play of their teammates. The Kobe from 2005-07 didn't do that. The Kobe from 2008 on did. That's the difference and that's my point.

What you're saying still doesn't make sense.
It's not about "maturing".... You can't elevate the level of play of Smush Parker and Walton and Mihm. Well, maybe you can, but not to any level that's going to make a difference....
So what are you suggesting he should've done? passed the ball more? is that it? is that all it took to truly be an all-time great and look "mature"?
Kobe averaged 22.25 shots per game between 04 and 08.
Jordan, who you call the GOAT, averaged more shots than that in his CAREER. Before he had a great team around him and PJ came, he was no better than the Kobe you're bashing in terms of being a "selfish player" or "shooting too much" or "being a ball hog". Between '85 and '90 he averaged a usage rate of 34.6 . Kobe's usage rate between 04 and 08? 33.85 .
And Kobe's teammates were quite worse than MJs were.

It's all a narrative. Kobe gets the "ball hog" tag when he was actually taking less shots than MJ had averaged in his career and had a lower usage rate than him, and MJ gets the "all time great" who always "elevated his teammates' play" tag...
It's stupid.
Kobe knew how to win. He didn't do it as "the man" as you say - in the finals, against weak center competition who Shaq eat up. But he was definitely "the man" in close, crunch-time games.. he was definitely "the man" in several playoff series in the VERY tough western conference.
After 04, he was left with a TERRIBLE team, with absolutely NO chance of winning. And he did play selfishly sometimes, but actually many greats had times like that before him. MJ the biggest and clearest example. The point is that when they had enough talent around them to win, they consistently made the right plays, even if that was to sometimes be a little selfish. And their track record speak for itself.
Look, statistically you could even argue that MJ's "ball hogging" was worse. And btw, his attempts didn't even go down when PJ was coach and Pippen grew as a player. In '93 he averaged 25 shots per game. He always averaged an insanely high amount of FG attempts. But he had an amazing team with him, filled with guys who played a particular role, and his was to score, mainly. And he won. Must've "matured" right? No way it was about the coach and the talent?
C'mon.
"The first time I ever saw my uniform hanging in the locker I put it on right away, and it just felt like I was putting on golden armour. From that day forward, I just called it 'the golden armour', it just felt like there was something mystical and magical about it" - Kobe Bryant.
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby last stand on Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:45 am

kobe 10 times out of 10
everyone has their top 10 lists of women heres mine

1. emma watson
2. Natalie Portman
3. Mila Kunis
4. Emma Stone
5. Megan Fox
6. jessica biel
7. Teresa Palmer
8. Katy Perry
9. jessica alba
10. Olivia Wilde
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby therealdeal on Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:39 am

Put LeBron on the 05-06 squad and what do we come out with as a franchise? Would it be much better or much worse than what Kobe did?...

I'm not sure. Maybe a little better? LeBron seems less prone to frustration than Kobe, so I'd say a little better, but still an extremely awful team. :man10:
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby baller4life on Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:43 am

Its easier to build a team around Kobe than LeBron. Dude went 3 straight times to the finals with Gasol as the second best player on the team. Keep in mind two important things, first of all Gasol was swept in all of his playoff expriences, not even a single win before coming to LA, second something that a lot ot people tend to ingnore is that Lakers were number one seed in the west BEFORE the Gasol trade. I mean Kobe outscored a Mavs team that went to the finals in 06 by himself. If he had the pieces at the right moment just at the peak of his carrer there is absolutly no doubt what he was able to do an that is putting an historical run and win titles.
As far as LeBron hats off to him he is playing out of this world but the fact is that i dont remember any other superstar to have a team build like what Riley did and LeBron being in his absolute prime.
You had D Wade probabbly top 5 player at that moment and Bosh top 5-10 "big" plus some of the best 3 point shooter in the history. I mean arent they supposed to win with that roster what else do you want?
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Re: 2006 Kobe or 2013 LeBron: Who would you pick?

Postby last stand on Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:58 pm

it's easier to build around kobe because LeBron is a distributor whose game is largely around the combination of aggression and passive and walking that balanced line.

guys like kobe and Michael are easier because they are on attack 24/7. you know who they are every game. they are willing and actually want to shoulder the offense. they pass to alleviate defensive pressure.

IMO history has proven those guys easier to build around
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1. emma watson
2. Natalie Portman
3. Mila Kunis
4. Emma Stone
5. Megan Fox
6. jessica biel
7. Teresa Palmer
8. Katy Perry
9. jessica alba
10. Olivia Wilde
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