Lets Go Lakers wrote:
wcsoldier81 wrote:We will never know how good 2006 Kobe could have been with a good roster around him though ...
I don't think 2008 Kobe/2009 Kobe were as much unstoppable as 2006 Kobe ... he had a much better cast so of course it's tough to judge but the fingers injury were a factor in his long ball shot/Ballhandling ( and the knee surgery in the 06 Summer had an impact on his explosiveness ) ...
I think if you put 2006 Kobe on the 2008 squad we would have had a better shot at beating Boston
Usually, guys who lead the league in scoring don't play for teams that win it all. Jordan was the exception along with a few others. And there's a reason for it. When one guy carries that much of a burden, the concept of team ball is seriously affected. Early in Jordan's career, he was scoring more efficiently and at a higher ppg than later in his career but he was getting bounced in the 1st and 2nd round of the playoffs. And that's because he didn't know how to win yet. It takes more than scoring to win at the highest level. You have to be able to elevate the play of your teammates by drawing the double teams and creating easy opportunities for them. It's a balancing act of being selfish and unselfish. The great ones know when to pick their spots. Just cause a guy gets 50 points doesn't mean he gave his team the best chance to win. It all comes down to how he got those points. Sometimes a guy can get 50 within the flow of the offense and sometimes a guy can get 30 at the expense of the offense.
2006 Kobe was not ready to lead a team to a title yet, at least not as "the man". His mindset was too single mindedly focused on scoring. And yes, there is a huge difference between winning a ring as second fiddle and as "the man". As "the man", the defense focuses primarily on what you do. So it's on you to constantly make the right decision of whether to pass or shoot. When to take over and when to sit back. When you are second fiddle, you have the luxury of knowing that the defense has their focus not primarily on you but on another superstar. So you can kind of pick your spots. No, I'm not saying it was all Shaq but simply pointing out that when teams faced the Lakers, their keys to stopping them was Shaq, first and foremost. That was their focus. And when you have that luxury, as the second fiddle, there is less pressure on you. Kobe eventually figured out how to win as "the man" starting around 2008, when he truly matured mentally and the supporting pieces were strong enough. He played the game the right way. Sure he had stretches of his naturally tendency to shoot too much but for the most part, he had matured into a truly all time great by knowing how to win as "the man". He wasn't ready in 2006.
Lol. "He wasn't ready". There was no chance... His team was just terrible. He could've played with a much more team-inclined, pass-inclined mentality and the outcome probably isn't any better (it's probably even worse). One player can only do so much; the talent around him matters, greatly. If you've played basketball, this is obvious. I've played in teams with all my best friends, everyone sharing the ball and playing together -- and we got killed. And I've played with guys that I didn't even like, who were selfish at many occations (and so was I in some) and we won, because they were just better players than my friends.. It's not that complicated.
I'm not saying that playing together and sharing the ball has no effect in success; it does, it's very important. But it clearly
takes a backseat to the importance of surrounding talent.
I have absolutely no doubt that if the Pau trade (and other moves that made the 08-'10 team) happen 2 years early, Kobe wouldn't have had any problem leading that team to the top of the mountain. Absolutely no doubt. He wanted to win above all, and he'd done it before: he knew what it took. Let's not fall for the whole media-fed idea that Kobe "learned to be a leader" in 08... He had a much better team, with much better chances of success, and he played accordingly.
If I was as talented as he was, and Luke Walton and Chris Mihm and Smush Parker were on my team, then yeah, I would've gone for the records too. There's no way I'm winning anyway, so at least lemme show people what I can do with this thing. But if my team is good, and I feel we can win, then I'm playing for nothing else than that, winning. That's Kobe's mentality IMO.
What you're basically suggesting is that, if everything remains the same and you swap the 08-09 Kobe with the 06 Kobe, they don't win? Because 06 Kobe wouldn't pass as much and wouldn't be able to lead? Thats BS IMO. It's all about circumstances. If 06 Kobe had a competitive roster with him, he'd probably be sitting on more than titles by now. Let's not get carried away with this idea that Kobe magically grew into a different player over a couple of years, and downplay the role that surrounding TALENT has. C'mon now.