Define dominant. When people refer to dominant, they usually talk about Wilt leading the league in scoring 7 times, rebounding 11 times, assists once, averaging 50 PPG, 27 RPG etc Or they talk about Shaq who was consistently double and triple teamed on his way to the basket and no defender could do anything about it.
When you have Kobe fans posting stuff like this though.. you have to wonder if they actually watched any games at all or are they just watching highlights.
In 2006 and 2007, Kobe led the league in scoring with 35 PPG and 32 PPG. Is that considered dominant? Well no more so than any other player who led the league in scoring right? Tmac had 32 PPG in 2003 so was he dominant? Iverson had 33 PPG the same year Kobe led in scoring, was he dominant?
Plus, we have to look at the postseason, not just regular season. Yes, you could make a case that Kobe was dominant in the regular season but even then he wasn’t the “most” dominant by a long shot, not when Michael Jordan and Wilt and Shaq all exist. Even James Harden could be considered to have a ‘dominant’ regular season when he averaged 36 PPG in 2019.
Then come postseason, he averages 28 PPG in 2006 playoffs and 33 PPG in 2007 playoffs and both playoffs he lost in the first round. But he had very little help, Kobe fans say. He actually had Lamar Odom who was averaging 19/11/5 in 2006 playoffs and 19/13/2 in the 2007 playoffs, which was certainly much better help than a lot of superstars had – i.e Iverson, Tmac, early Bulls Jordan, early Cavs Lebron, middle of Hakeem’s career, Timberwolves KG etc none of those guys had a Lamar Odom on their team. And in 2006 when you’re supposedly the ‘most dominant’ superstar ever, you shouldn’t be blowing a 3–1 lead when you have Lamar Odom on your team, Phil Jackson as your coach and the opposing team consisted of Steve Nash and Shawn Marion and missing their second best player Amar’e Stoudemire. Even Kwame Brown and Luke Walton were putting up 12 and 6 a game in that series since the Suns were totally lacking size that series. A truly dominant player would have won that series with that kind of help.
Now for 2008–2010, he certainly didn’t carry his team to 2 rings. The easy evidence for this is simply that he couldn’t get past the first round until Pau Gasol joined the team. Once he got Gasol, Lakers went straight to the Finals. How could that be the case if Kobe was the one carrying the team? If Kobe had carried the team, we would have seen the Lakers make the Finals without Gasol on there. The fact that Gasol impacted the team the way he did means Kobe needed help to win, period.
The problem with Kobe fans is they really like to downplay Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom’s contributions because they want to push the narrative that he beat all these 50 win teams and won 2 rings and beat a Celtics superteam all by himself. Simply one of the most untrue, BS narratives that’s been pushed around.
Here’s something very interesting I want to show people:
Kobe’s teammates who averaged over 10 PPG – 2009 playoffs
Pau Gasol – 18 PPG / 11 RPG / 2 APG
Lamar Odom – 12 PPG / 9 RPG / 2 APG
Trevor Ariza – 11 PPG / 4 RPG / 2 APG
Kobe’s teammates who averaged over 10 PPG – 2010 playoffs
Pau Gasol – 20 PPG / 11 RPG / 3 APG
Metta World Peace – 11 PPG / 4 RPG / 2 APG
Derek Fisher – 10 PPG / 2 RPG / 3 APG
Lamar Odom – 10 PPG / 9 RPG / 2 APG
Lebron’s teammates who averaged over 10 PPG – 2013 playoffs
Dwayne Wade – 16 PPG / 5 RPG / 5 APG
Chris Bosh – 12 PPG / 7 RPG / 2 APG
Ray Allen – 10 PPG / 3 RPG / 1 APG
Lebron’s teammates who averaged over 10 PPG – 2014 playoffs
Dwayne Wade – 18 PPG / 4 RPG / 4 APG
Chris Bosh – 15 PPG / 5 RPG / 1 APG
Now compare these rosters. Everyone says that Lebron had a superteam and that Kobe carried his team but the actual breakdown of what each teammate contributed.. you see why it’s such a misleading narrative that Kobe fans like to push? Kobe had arguably just as much if not more help during his championship runs than Lebron did during his last 2 years in Miami!
So yeah.. I don’t think Kobe is the most dominant player ever nor did he carry any of his teams to a championship (although he gets the lion’s share of credit for winning them), and really the proof is in the pudding here. I provided all my evidence why. He had Lamar Odom against a weakened Suns team and couldn’t get past the first round. He had a lot more help than people realized during his championship years.