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Warriors and Kobe

From NBC SportsWorld:

That was some last night of the NBA regular season.

Grand Finale

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41 Responses to Warriors and Kobe

  1. otistaylor89 says:

    The most amazing thing about Kobe’s career is that he only won 5 Championships.
    He played with Shaq, one of the most dominate forces to play any team sport. He played with Pau Gasol in his prime when he was in the Top 10 in winshares for 4 seasons, along with Andrew Bynum, who was a destructive force in his own right.
    Yet Kobe won only 3 titles with Shaq and two with the other two. Could he have won several more if he played a little more defense, shot the ball a little less, was a better passer in his earlier days, and, the big one, got along with Shaq? Yup.

    • lazermike says:

      It’s fun to imagine what could have been if Kobe and Shaq stayed together. But to pick on a player for “only” having won the title in a quarter of his seasons — especially considering he played all but one season in the same conference as Tim Duncan, seems a little petty.

    • Patrick Bohn says:

      Yeah, I agree completely. In 2003 for example, they lost to the Spurs in the playoffs, which no self-respecting franchise should *ever* do. Then in 2008…I mean, the Celtics? How do you manage to lose in seven games to a team with a 66-16 record and only three future Hall of Famers in the starting lineup? That should be a cakewalk. Those 2011 Mavericks were slouches too. Who ever heard of Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki? It’s no surprise that they got wiped out as soon as they beat the Lakers.

      • lazermike says:

        The flaws otistaylor89 points out in his post are real — Kobe probably did shoot sometimes when he could have passed, and maybe could have focused more on defense, although of course he was a good defender — but very few players are perfect. I guess if Kobe were perfect, he’d be Jordan. And that’s a pretty high bar.

    • MikeN says:

      It’s not that he won so few, but was lucky to win so many.
      The Trailblazers were probably the better team that first championship year, and only Phil Jackson’s getting into the head of Scottie Pippen(and a lot of foul calls), got the Lakers that win. In 2002, the Kings were better, and Tim Donaghy rescued them.
      On the other side, they maybe win in 2004 if Karl Malone were healthy(although Minnesota was out 2 point guards).
      In 2010, Kendrick Perkins is injured, and the Celtics can’t get a rebound and lose their 4th quarter lead while Kobe shoots 6 for 24 in the game. Even then, at the end of the game Kobe commits a foul after Rondo steals the inbounds pass and it doesn’t get called.

      • Uros S. says:

        Well hey, I can do this too!

        LeBron won his second ring when he should have lost in 6 — down 5 with 28 seconds left. His first ring was in a lockout shortened season, running through a weak east and a young team in the finals.

        The 2015 Warriors were lucky too, they faced a Cavs squad without Kyrie and Love, and still were down 2-1. The 2014 Spurs got taken to 7 in the first round, and faced a Thunder team that was sans Ibaka for the first two games (when he came back they played to a draw).

        The 2011 Mavs were up against a Heat team whose best player had a horrendous series and scored 12 points in 6 fourth quarters.

        The 2008 Celtics lost 8 games en route to the finals. Lucky.

        The 2006 Heat got the lions share of the calls — in one of the games, Wade shot more free throws than the entire Mavs team — and blew a 2-0 lead (and they were up double digits late in the third game).

        Everyone’s lucky and nobody deserves full credit for their titles! Yipeeee!!

        • MikeN says:

          Yea, I was thinking the same thing when I was done.
          The Celtics I think were lucky. LeBron very nearly beat them in Game 7, but Rondo hit back to back threes to keep them close, allowing Pierce to steal a tipped ball to preserve a win at the end. I wonder if he’s ever made back to back shots since.

    • Jaunty Rockefeller says:

      Michael Jordan only won 6, and he had Michael Jordan in his team his whole career!

    • Brent says:

      Babe Ruth is considered the greatest baseball player ever. Lou Gehrig is the greatest 1st baseman, at least according to most. They played together for 10 years (1925-1934). They only won 3 World Series (’27, ’28 and ’32) and 1 additional pennant. They weren’t the only HOFers on those teams either (admittedly some of the HOFers on those teams are the lower third of the HOF in terms of greatness).

      Does that detract from Ruth or Gehrig or make us question their level of greatness?

      • otistaylor89 says:

        A little different in baseball with 8 players and multiple pitchers vs. basketball with 5 starters. Kobe and Shaq are both top 15 all time. I know they didn’t have the same peak, but it comes down to 2 championships and that mess in 2002 where they get credit for one and that’s it.

        • Jaunty Rockefeller says:

          Shaq & Kobe were together only from 96 through 04. And the first two years, when he was 18 & 19, Kobe wasn’t even a starter. So in the six years they were starters together, won 3 championships and lost in the Finals. That seems pretty good.

  2. Sadge says:

    Can someone explain to my why taking 50 shots was a good thing? 60 points is impressive but why would I want to watch that many misses? I’ve read several attempted explanations but they all seem to come from Lakers fans.

    • DB says:

      All about the show. 40 years from now (other than die hard fans) no one will remember the 50 shots, they will just remember 60. Williams hitting the home run. Elway and Montana retiring as champions (even though Davis and the defense respectively were the reasons). Lakers have always been smart about the show and what it means.

    • Patrick Bohn says:

      I mean, I don’t know if it was a *good* thing, but I don’t think it was a *bad* thing either. the Lakers were 16-65 heading into the game. I guess it’s sort of like, what’s the big deal?

      • Sadge says:

        I agree, it was about the show and I completely get why they did it. Get Kobe the ball. I have no problem with that. But people seem to be going out of their way to say that the record of 50 shots is almost as impressive as the 60 points. My thinking is that they know someone with that many shots should score more (he took fewer shots to score 81) so they are getting in front of the story to say, “And check out the record he set.” Maybe that is the main reason.

    • Marc Schneider says:

      It was his last game. Give him a break. The game wasn’t for the playoffs. It’s not as if the other Lakers wouldn’t have missed a lot of those shots. I think most people thought it was a pretty cool thing. And, in fact, it was ALL for the Laker fans.

      • Sadge says:

        Yeah, poor Kobe. I should lay off of him.

        I can’t wait for a baseball player to break the record for most at bats in a season.

    • MikeN says:

      That is a better ratio than Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, John Wall this season, as well as most improved player CJ McCollum.

    • Uros S. says:

      But it WAS a good thing. 60 points on 50 field goal attempts and 12 free throw attempts comes out to a .543 true shooting %. That’s above league average, against a good defensive team.

      • Sadge says:

        That’s what I was looking for here. I hadn’t seen it put into any context other than, “Yay, 50 shots!”

    • MikeN says:

      60 points off 50 shots isn’t terrible. Iverson would frequently score 30 off of thirty shots or more. The top scorers tend to get 1.3-1.5 instead of the 1.2 Kobe got.

  3. Darosenthal says:

    If Kobe played this same career for the Knicks they’d have renamed a borough for him. People would take the Kobe Island Ferry to Kobehattan. They’d eat Kobe beef at Kobrooklyn steakhouses and they’d watch the Kobepolitans in Kweens.

    I think there’s a symbiotic relationship between the self-aggrandized great athletes and the big cities: I think they feed off each other’s need for attention and acclaim. LA had Kobe and Kobe had LA, and both were great because of the other. It’s a closed loop, self-sustaining and impermeable. Looking on from outside you can see it and be annoyed by it but you can’t really feel or understand. And with so many great athletes in other cities, smaller places, it feels like a kind of theft. But it’s harmless and a little pathetic.

    Kobe is like a hoarder of fame. The tiny apartment of his mind is packed to the rafters with words and cheers and ghostly trophies. He deserved every imaginary thing he ever won, and maybe some of the real ones too.

    • Bpdelia says:

      What? I mean I guess it was rough playing his whole career in the center of the basketball universe for the most famous team.

      Come on. He didn’t play in Denver dude. He was on the Lakers.

      I don’t take the Jeter ferry to jeterhattan. Or the cross mantle expressway.

  4. GregC says:

    Kobe was probably the least compelling great player I have ever seen. All that talent, and not a modicum of humanity. He spent a career transparently and shamelessly trying to create for himself an Uber-Jordan persona (I mean, could he have tried harder to sell this Mamba image). Still, he couldn’t learn to exist alongside some of the most-dominant big man of his era: Shaq, Gasol, Bynam, Howard. He never learned the most important lesson from kindergarten: how to work well and play well with others.

    • Richard says:

      Oh please……this is the 2nd comment in these posts I have seen that listed Bynum as a dominant player. He had one good season, and it was not dominant, good yes, dominant no.

      Howard was not dominant in his season with the Lakers….likely because he was still battling injuries…. but not dominant…..not even close to it. It has been a long time since Howard has been dominant in the league…just ask Houston

      I also don’t remember Jordan ever having a modicum of humanity either. He also didn’t win anything without Pippen.

  5. Uros S. says:

    What’s lost on some people is that Kobe’s true shooting % in his last game was .543 — above league average. Against a very good defense. Really isn’t as inefficient as some make it out to be.

  6. Karyn says:

    “Nobody ever won a game of chicken with Kobe Bryant.”

    Including his victim in Colorado.

    • invitro says:

      What victim in Colorado? Kobe wasn’t charged, let alone convicted, of anything.

      • Karyn says:

        False–he was, in fact, charged, but the case was dropped after the woman refused to testify. Given that she was doxxed and received harassment and death threats, this is not a surprise. Kobe made a statement including: “Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”

        She did not consent to being bent over a chair and raped. He said it, right there.

        • Marc Schneider says:

          I tend to agree and it’s very interesting how this episode seems to have been forgotten by everyone. How can you say “I believe” this was consensual. Don’t you know? Or do you not really care until she complains? It’s amazing how Kobe skated away from this.

  7. Kobe worked his butt off in a quest for greatness and to help his team win championships, of which he won 5. What more could you ask in a player? His bone of contention with Shaq was that Shaq never worked out to stay in shape and just relied on being enormous, which was true. Sure, Kobe wasn’t the most likable guy or the easiest teammate to play with, but then again, neither was Michael Jordan. Their competitive drive was what made them so great. And as for Kobe taking 50 shots with a body worn and broken from a lifetime playing basketball, he not only scored 60 points, but he led his team to a come from behind victory in what was easily the finest farewell performance in professional sports history—I mean, what more do you want? People will be talking about that game for as long as they care about basketball. We’re just lucky to have witnessed it.

  8. NevadaMark says:

    When Wilt scored 100 he shot 63 times (making 36), along with 32 free throws (making 28). I believe all five figures are NBA records.

    • BobDD says:

      I think you are right about the first three, but Dantley tied him for FT made, and Howard attempted 39 FT (twice).

  9. Bpdelia says:

    Well actually Kobe didn’t even come close to “usually making” those big shots. In fact he shot lower than his career fg%. He was a great player but really he’s somewhere down near the bottom of the top 20 ever.

    As for Bulls/Warriors. It’s REALLY easy to forget just how unbelievable those Bulls teams were.

    In the era of the hand check and an incredibly restrictive era for volume scorers the Bulls were incredible.

    Rodman is one of the greatest most impactful players of all time and he was in the middle of a prime the likes of which we’ll never see again.

    They featured 3 all universe defenders in Jordan, Pippin and Rodman and Ron Harper who was a super solid pro who could defend and manage the games pace at PG.. Especially amazing considering the heavy u load on offense carried by their top two weapons.

    It was a different age as far s shooting but the Bulls had a deep bench of specialty players and two way role players. Wennington/Purdue and a revolving cast of dead eye spot up threats.

    Toni Kukoc was a pretty underrated part of those teams as well.

    It’s pointless to compare these teams because the game is fundamentally different.

    For every, “the Bulls wouldn’t be able to run with the Warriors or match their small ball” I can pull out that Curry, Barnes etc would be BROKEN playing the absurdly bruising style of play.

    Players actually tackled each other. Regular fouls from that era would be called flagrant 2s.

    Finally I’m confident that Jordan, playing in this era of no zone, no handcheck, no hard fouls would average 40 points and the Warriors having to deal with Rodman and the physical abuse of the rest of the Bulls defenders would bbe outrebounded by an insurmountable level.

    I think playing the rules of today it’s anybodys series.

    Playing the rules of the 90’s? The Bulls would embarrass the Warriors and utterly dominate them defensively and on the boards. Jordan and the Bulls were a smothering perimeter defense because they were able to utterly eliminate an opponents pick and roll and post game through different rules and the efforts of a historically singular talent in Rodman

    • MikeN says:

      This idea that Jordan and others would be scoring 40-50 points if they were playing today is ridiculous. What it really means is that Kobe Bryant, ‘back in the day’ would have score under 20 points a game.

      The Bulls were weak at center and their overall bench was terrible, which was revealed postJordan when the rest of the league signed them to nice contracts. Only Steve Kerr held up.
      Come to think of it, the Phil Jackson Lakers were like this.
      I am tempted to say the Warriors are weak and would lose, but I see how they are dominating a loaded Western Conference. There was a stretch of games to start the second half of the season where I thought San Antonio would pass them in the standings. @Cleveland, @Chicago, Indiana, and San Antonio. They scored at least 120 points in every game with only Indiana keeping the loss under 30.

      Strange that both record seasons saw a second all-time team. San Antonio won 67 games, and Seattle’s 65 win in 1996 was then a very rare accomplishment.

      • Bpdelia says:

        The Bulls lost the greatest player of all time and still remained a playoff team.

        Every great team had weaknesses. But there’s no denying that Jordan scored a ton of his points slashing in an era when teams were allowed to park two monsters in the paint and then basically mug the shot taker. The game is much more wide open today and fun to watch but Rodman really was a game changing player. And the Jordan, Pippen combo was devastating.

        The Warriors are an all time team but the Bulls had a diverse talent set and would have won 8 consecutive championships in all likelihood.

        We can simply admit that Jordan was a better all around player than anyone ever (simply not even debatable by any metric you want to use), that Pippen was better than Klay Thompson (seems pretty easy to make that argument) and Rodman was the most devastating defensive weapon in the leagues history.

        They really weren’t weak at center either. They had centers who held their own defensively and were occasionally called on to hit 8 foot shots on broken plays.

        The Warriors are historically great. But playing those rules would eliminate allot of the spread that allows them to get open looks from 3 and the Bulls very greatest strength, their perimeter defense, matches up very well with the Warriors.

        I don’t think the Bulls would sweep or anything but just that the Bulls were a Swiss army knife of a team. They had absolutely everything a team needed in that era. Just like the Warriors did.

        We can do this in baseball but in basketball the rules of the game have changed dramatically.

  10. I, for one, have tired of end-of career, victory-lap worship-me tours, and this one was as pathetic as it gets. Why stop at 50? Just let him jack up a hunnert. Bring the Washington Generals out of retirement as an opponent.

    • VTmike says:

      I agree that the nonsense with Rivera and Jeter was out of hand, but even then, you can’t blame the player for that. Kobe was not putting the team first in his final game, but the team was done either way, so he put the fans first. He gave them the performance they wanted. If he had gone 7 for 50, it would be a different story.

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