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What is the biggest NBA myth?

  1. that Kobe Bryant was robbed of MVPs – I’ve already answered that here.
  2. that Jordan was ‘rusty’ in his 1995 comeback and that’s why he lost to the Orlando Magic

Let me explain the second one. Jordan fans like to imagine that he would win 8 straight championships in a row if he didn’t retire. For 1994 – I agree that with Jordan on the team, they probably would have beaten the Knicks and gone on to beat Hakeem’s Rockets (who only had one other all star in Otis Thorpe) that year and Jordan would have won his 4th NBA championship in 1994 instead of 1996.

However this doesn’t apply to 1995. Because we already know what happened in 1995. Jordan came back late in the season, and then played the entire playoffs and lost to Shaq/Penny’s Magic in 6 games. But Jordan was rusty right? he only played 17 games in the regular season!

Uhh.. nope. Jordan came back pretty much just as strong as he left it and the stats back this up.

In 1995, Jordan performed better in the playoffs than he did in 1996. Crazy right? But he won 72 games in 1996 and he lost to the Magic in 1995! How can that be?

Because Jordan fans don’t want to admit that basketball is a team game. its not based on one individual superstar, even though the NBA is marketed that way. The loss of Horace Grant (ironically, to the Magic) in 1995 left the Bulls without an interior presence to defend Shaq. Horace Grant wasn’t just a role player – he was an all star and the second best player on the team after Pippen in 1994.
In 1996, the Bulls acquired Dennis Rodman and they got the inside presence they needed to beat the Magic that year.

This is the concept that Jordan and Kobe fans don’t understand: it’s not about one individual player putting up massive scoring stats; the rest of your team has to be good as well. Rings are a team achievement and so is MVP in fact; MVPs are always given to the player on a top 3 seeded team (except for Westbrook because he averaged a triple double) so in fact even for MVP which is a so called individual award, having a good team still matters. That’s why Kobe was not robbed of MVP in 2005/2006 – his team wasn’t good enough and that matters in MVP voting.

That’s how Jordan put up better stats in 1995, and still lost. He definitely was not rusty.

 

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Sports

Who is your least favorite Los Angeles Lakers player of all time?

Kobe Bryant. This dude is so selfish and egotistical, locker room cancer, blames everything on his teammates, hogs the ball, took leagues highest salary knowing he was injured, went on a self gratification retirement tour, and oh also – thinks he’s the GOAT. He’s not only my least favorite Laker all time he’s probably my least favorite player all time, mainly due to the whole “mamba mentality” aspect which is essentially just shooting the ball whenever you get a chance.

Kobe’s style of play is the wrong style of play. It cannot win in this era of basketball where you need to be a team player to win. Nobody wants to play with someone who always wants to shoot the ball. Kobe only won because he was always surrounded by great rebounders (Shaq, Gasol, Odom, Bynum) to rebound his misses and played in the triangle offense which forced him to share the ball. The fact that Kobe inspires so many kids to play the wrong way makes him almost like the Ronald Reagan of NBA players – hugely respected by a certain portion of the fanbase, but did long term damage to the game.

The fact that he has such an ardent fanbase despite his cockiness just makes me dislike him even more. His fans always overrate him and always have to bring his name up or mention him in EVERY conversation. If Kobe’s name is not mentioned, his fans complain “Kobe is disrespected!!!” They blame the NBA for messing up the CP3 trade. They blame Nash for “robbing” Kobe of MVPs. Ruined Dwight Howard’s career. He has probably the worst fanbase out of any player. I know people like to hate on Lebron fans (i.e “bronsexuals”) but Lebron fans do not inject his name into every single conversation, and plus Lebron isn’t as selfish as Kobe is either.

It also bothers me that his fanbase is somewhat lacking of basketball knowledge. They only care about one stat: scoring. They dont care how many shots Kobe took to get there. They only care about one award: rings. And they don’t care that Kobe wasn’t even the best player for the majority of his rings. They treat those rings as all his alone. As a basketball analyst, if its one thing that grinds me up its casual fans using rings + scoring stats as their sole arguments, because just like Kobe himself, those are probably the most overrated parts of a player’s resume.

 

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Sports

Could Kobe Bryant and Shaq really have won twelve rings together if Shaq had stayed on the Lakers?

No. I’m going to say something that seems like blasphemy to some people particularly Lakers fans: the Shaq-Kobe duo is overrated. There I said it.

Now, before you come at me with pitchforks, hear me out: Shaq and Kobe were a great duo, but many people tend to put them at their #1 or #2 spots all time in terms of all time duos. I think this is slightly overrating them. Let’s look at their actual accomplishments together:

1998–1999: the Shaq-Kobe duo got bounced out of the playoffs by the Jazz and Spurs.

2000: Shaq-Kobe got taken to 7 games by the Portland Trail Blazers (with aging Pippen / Sabonis). They took 6 games to beat the 2000 Pacers in the Finals – the 2000 Pacers is not one of the all time great Finals teams people bring up.

2001: This is probably their only dominant playoff run together. They swept every team in the playoffs and defeated the 2001 76ers (also not one of the all time great Finals teams) in 5 games.

2002: Shaq-Kobe got taken to 7 games – again – by the Sacramento Kings this time. In the infamous Game 6, they needed several and I mean several ref calls to really go their way in order to win the game. Then they swept the 2002 Nets (again, not one of the all time great Finals teams).

2003: Shaq-Kobe duo got bounced out of the playoffs by Duncan’s Spurs.

2004: Shaq-Kobe acquired Payton/Malone and went all the way to the Finals, only to lose to the 2004 Pistons (with only one all star, Ben Wallace) – in 5 games.

So – consider this – people name the Shaq-Kobe duo as the greatest of all time. In reality – they almost lost to the Blazers in 2000, almost lost to the Kings in 2002, lost to the one all star Pistons in 2004, got bounced in 1998/1999/2003 and in their Finals wins won against inferior East teams. They had one great playoff run which was 2001. Are they really as good as people think they were?

Personally, I think the Malone-Stockton Jazz were a better duo – an unpopular opinion because they didn’t win any rings – but they were up against Michael Jordan’s Bulls in the Finals, a team that would wipe the floor with the 2000 Pacers or 2001 76ers or 2002 Nets. They also easily beat Shaq-Kobe en route to the Finals. So why do people think Shaq-Kobe is so much better than Malone-Stockton?

tldr; to answer the question, no I don’t think Shaq/Kobe would win 12 rings together if they stayed together. I’m doubtful they would have beat the 2005 Spurs the next season.