The problem is Kobe has never been proven to successfully co-exist with another perimeter star.
All of his winning seasons and chips came when Kobe was playing with big men – either Shaq or a Gasol/Odom/Bynum combination. The only other perimeter players he’s been able to thrive with are guys who are content not taking too much of the offensive burden and being low key role players – like Derek Fisher.
Isaiah Rider was a 20PPG scorer and then turned into a role player on the Lakers. Lamar Odom who was a big with PG skills was turned into a spot up rebounder on the Lakers. older Steve Nash well we all know what happened there. And Jeremy Lin has been on record saying how he didn’t get along with Kobe either.
CP3 needs the ball in his hands to do work – if he doesn’t have the ball then he’s reduced to being a spot up shooter, cutter or a help defender. That’s not exactly the best use of his abilities.
Kobe is infamously known as a star who constantly demands the ball in his hands all the time. When teamed up with a dominant presence in the paint to help rebound and block shots, Kobe can thrive with his style of play which is to shoot from anywhere on the court without caring too much about his shot selection.
With another perimeter star like CP3 who needs the ball in his hands to work his magic, Kobe now has to play off the ball more and post 2010 he hasn’t particularly been a great off ball player either on offense or defense. Also Kobe’s decline was very noticeable post 2010 – in the 2011 playoffs he averaged just 23/3/3 on 44% shooting – that’s actually noticeable worse than Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum or Donovan Mitchell this year. And I don’t want to hear about any ‘era’ excuses either cause 2011 was just 10 years ago that’s post hand checking rules changes. People really like to remember Kobe with rose-tinted glasses but at some point you got to admit that his career was really from 2000–2010 he had a decade of good years and that’s it.
So that’s the main problem with the Lakers with CP3 in 2012. I actually think that CP3 with Blake Griffin was the better pairing for him than CP3 + Kobe. However having Gasol and Bynum in the paint would also be a pretty deadly combination with CP3. Ultimately I don’t see the Lakers + CP3 doing much better than what ended up happening with the Clippers + CP3 – they might even do worse. Nor do I think it would have been even much better than the 2013 Lakers with Dwight/Nash teaming up with Kobe/Gasol.