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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Making Your Teammates Better

It is often said that a particular player "makes his teammates better"--or sometimes it is asserted that a certain player is very talented but does not "make his teammates better." When people employ this misleading phrase they are trying to distinguish between selfish and unselfish playing methods. A selfish player cares primarily about his own statistics; an unselfish player cares primarily about team success--that entails doing what his team needs for him to do to have the best chance to win. It is not literally possible to "make someone better." Magic Johnson could not make anyone run faster, jump higher or shoot better than he previously could; what Magic did was pass the ball to players in positions where they could do what they were good at doing--and not pass the ball to players in positions where they were not likely to succeed. Magic would not throw an alley-oop to someone who was not a good leaper and he would not throw the ball to someone at the three point line if that player was not a good outside shooter.

Great players create openings and opportunities for their lesser talented teammates to do what they do well. A truly great player cannot be guarded by one defender, so just by drawing double-team coverage he is providing an open shot for someone on his team even if he does not handle the ball at all prior to that player making the shot. You can see this with Tim Duncan; he is often guarded by a post player stationed behind him and a guard or forward dropping into his lap. This leaves a Spurs guard or forward wide open. Duncan is not making Michael Finley or Robert Horry "better"; those guys have the ability to shoot well from three point range and have been doing this at the NBA level before Duncan was even in the league. Duncan's greatness affords them an opportunity to play to their strengths--spot up shooting--and away from their weaknesses--creating open shots for themselves on their own. If Duncan were flanked by players who cannot make open three point shots then teams could double-team him without fear; Duncan would be no less of a great player in this situation than he is now but his team would win a lot less frequently.

It is very simplistic to just look a player's assist totals when trying to determine if he is selfish or not. Duncan's assist numbers are decent but hardly eyepopping and he has never averaged as much as 4 apg in a season. On the other hand, Stephon Marbury ranks 11th all-time in career apg, ahead of Steve Nash, Bob Cousy, Nate Archibald, Lenny Wilkens and Jerry West, among others. While Marbury may be making society better with his line of low cost basketball shoes, throughout his career several teams have become worse after he joined their roster and better after his departure; whatever "making your teammates better" means, he has not done a good job of it. Marbury has the ball in his hands all the time and plays a lot of minutes, so he accumulates assists--but his statistics correlate poorly with team success. Duncan is a good passer who delivers a variety of passes--bounce passes, outlet passes, crosscourt passes to open three point shooters. Many of those passes result in baskets but not assists because the recipient reverses the ball after the defense recovers; as Hubie Brown often points out, against a good defense the second pass out of the double-team leads to an open shot. Duncan's assist totals do not really reflect either his ability as a passer or how many open shots his presence creates. Every season there are several subpar point guards who accumulate more assists than Duncan ever will.

In addition to drawing double-teams and then reversing the ball to the open man, great players who pass the ball well do at least two other things that are not measured directly in assist totals: (1) they can see openings that other players do not and successfully pass the ball through those openings; (2) they pass the ball in a way that the recipient can catch it and make a basketball move--this is sometimes referred to by Doug Collins and others as "KYP," meaning "know your personnel." Some players have better hands than others, some players want to catch and dunk without having to dribble and some players want to catch and go straight into a shooting motion; a great player knows which kind of pass to throw to each of these types of players.

Duncan is also a good example of how a truly great player creates opportunities on defense for less talented teammates. The Spurs' perimeter players can close out on perimeter shooters without fear, knowing that Duncan will block or alter most shots that are attempted in the paint. He cannot "make" a bad defender good but he can improve his team's overall defense by erasing others' mistakes. Scottie Pippen had a similar effect as a perimeter defender. In his prime, Pippen was always guarding one and a half men--in other words, he was watching not only his assigned man but he also had his eye on either the post player or the nearest perimeter player. If someone else's man started to drive to the hoop or throw a pass, Pippen would slide over and take a charge or steal the pass; if the post player put the ball on the floor, Pippen would drop down and "dig" at his dribble. This did not "make" bad defenders good but it disrupted the opposing offense, much like Duncan drawing a double-team disrupts an opposing defense.

The consensus five best players in the NBA this season were Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and LeBron James. Nowitzki's major impact derives primarily from his ability to score from many areas of the court; the defensive attention that he attracts creates scoring opportunities for his teammates. Nash is a very accurate shooter but his primary asset is his ability to deliver a variety of passes to different players in different situations. While he is the player in this group who is most often said to "make his teammates better" it is more accurate to say that he enables his teammates to do what they do well and avoid doing what they don't do well. He is surrounded by two gifted finishers (Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion) and several good three point shooters; Nash uses his dribbling ability to probe the opposing defense while his teammates move into their high percentage shooting areas. Nash is outstanding at delivering the ball to whoever pops open first in one of his "sweet spots." While Nash's dribbling and passing are an important part of this process those skills would go to waste if the recipients of the passes were not capable players in their own right. Bryant is the player in this quintet who is most likely to be considered "selfish" but it is impossible to watch him play with a discerning eye and come to this conclusion. His primary job is to put points on the board and his proficiency at that means that opposing teams must double-team him; this creates four on three opportunities for his teammates and Bryant makes the right reads and the correct passes in those situations. Of course, the results of those passes looked a lot better when he played alongside more skillful teammates than his current supporting cast. James has developed into an outstanding scorer while still maintaining a pass first mindset. He handles the ball in different areas of the court than Bryant or Duncan do, so James' first pass often leads directly to a shot, giving him more assist opportunities. Duncan's contributions were discussed above.

I love statistics but there is no getting around the fact that you cannot adequately measure a player's value by numbers alone; you have to watch him play with a trained eye and really analyze what he is doing and how it affects his teammates and the opposing team. Saying that someone "makes his teammates better" has become a convenient but overused shorthand. I'd prefer to hear a precise explanation of what exactly the player in question does that makes his team better.

posted by David Friedman @ 5:20 PM

69 comments

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69 Comments:

At Wednesday, May 23, 2007 5:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff, David, on a topic too rarely addressed. In baseball they're called glue guys, and they don't need flashy stats to bring out the best in their teammates.

After reading, I suddenly thought of a forgotten Phoenix Sun -- not Steve Nash, but 1970s center Alvan Adams. A great passer, playmaker and hustler who always gave up inches and pounds in those days of the low-post giant, Alvan was sort of a super Boris Diaw. He always influenced play, yet rarely dominated it.

His stats on basketball-reference.com show a 14-7-4 average that pales next to many guys who've played since. But look at some of the players ranked as statistically similar: Maurice Lucas, Danny Manning, Bobby Jones.

Making teammates better in basketball will always be somewhat mysterious. Isn't that what we love about the game?

There's a technical side, sure. Oscar Robertson said it wasn't enough for a pass to reach a man if it pulled him out of position to make the play, and he proved his skill at it by turning 6 ppg center named Connie Dierking into a 16 ppg scorer with the old Cincy Royals. But some rare players (not Oscar, alas) also have a quality that can reach diverse teammates on an individual level, helping them reach whatever state they need to exceed themselves.

I'm reminded of an old saying: "Maybe it's okay to use people ... if you care enough to use *all* of them."

 
At Wednesday, May 23, 2007 7:59:00 PM, Blogger marcel said...

why do you whine about this topic so much fam people like steve nash they dont like kobe he's a jordan fake in many people mine he's fake in general says the right thing rather than telling the truth he ran shaq out to be the man. he's arrogant, and he shoots alot. thats why does steve nash really make players better no he passes to better players than kobe do same for duncan and nowitzki magic and everbody else the preception of kobe has nothing to do with basketball it's about him personally david if any other players would score 81 points shoot 60 percent he had to do it because his team was down 18 score 62 points against a finals team in 3 quarters 65 against portland when his team lost 7 in a row. avg 40 a month 3 times and carry a medicore team 45 wins and almost beat that team in 7 when they were supposed to get beat in like 5 and then at the end of that series get called a quitter when he changed his game for the better of the team in the series. also remember when gilbert arenas got the 60 and 54 in the same week people and he had like 8 30 point games in a month people said he was a mvp canidate but the year before they said kobe was selfish and did it for personal satisfaction and didnt care about winning. and also scoop jackson said that was arguably the best basketball he ever seen meaning arenas run. kobe run was way better than his that run would rank like 7th in the last two years for kobe 4 straight 45 + and he had 4 straight 50+ last two years. the people who dont like kobe will never fully come around to kobe maybe when he retires but not right now he culd pay they bills they still wouldnt give him his due. for the record i like kobe i just think your unfair to nash in your crticizm i like nash more than kobe so i defend nash and attack kobe but i like thm both

 
At Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

steve nash makes his teamates better kobe is a ballhog who only cares about him it's simple as that circumstances has kept nash from a ring.

but he gets the ball to players a at the right time to where kobe shoots over 3 guys and never passes the ball because he doesnt know how and will never do so.

any top player could of won those 3 rings with shaq. iverson, mcgrady and gary payton kg and that was proven because he got to the finals without kobe with penny and won a ring without kobe with wade he could of won 3 straight with wade if he was younger just like he did with kobe. shaq cant be replaced but kobe can easily put there it is

 
At Wednesday, May 23, 2007 10:15:00 PM, Anonymous temp 0x00 said...

to the second anonymous,

You must think this is realgm.com.

Bs like your misleading and ignorant post don't fly here.

The fact that he needed Kobe, Wade, Penny says a lot about how important having help is.

No one said that Shaq couldn't win without Kobe. The fact is that Shaq needed Kobe as much as Kobe needed Shaq. Just like he needed Wade to get to that level and to win.

In all of those circumstances, he's had that extra help from that elite level player to compliment his game. Saying that another elite player fit into Kobe's role doesn't diminish him like you intend. Quite the contrary, you only show how important it is to be a 1st/2nd option on a championship team.

If your intent was to diminish Kobe's role, you've done the opposite.

And since we can't wank around in hypotheticals like you do in your post all the time. The best we can do is to give credit where it is due.

 
At Wednesday, May 23, 2007 10:19:00 PM, Anonymous temp 0x00 said...

marcel,

I find it amusing that you say you don't dislike Kobe, yet you aren't above parroting bull about Kobe's game.

It's obvious that you're nothing but an irrational hater of Kobe.

Nothing he'll do will ever be enough to satisfy you. No amount of play will change your incorrect opinion about him.

David says nothing wrong in his post, yet because you can't come up with an accurate rebuttal you resort to bashing Kobe.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 1:54:00 AM, Blogger marcel said...

you are one of a kind temp i gave kobe his props in that article i did not dis kobe i said how it was a double standard the way arenas spree was treated and the way kobe was. kobe got unfair critcsm in that area so what are you talking about people dont like kobe for those things is said i dont agree with them but thats why people dont like him. im supposed to sit here and always say kobe does everything right everyshot he takes is a good shot etc he never makes a turnover he just the most perfect player ever and downplay everything he do that is not correct no temp im an anaylst that what anaylst do im sure you dont know that and im trying to educare you on it. how am i a kobe hater anyway im not on here saying kobe a ball hog i just said he has at times bad shot selection. you and david think kobe does nuthing wrong and just diss steve nash all day my favirote player is nash and lebron your favirote player is kobe. you defend your player i defend mine

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 2:12:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous I:

Alvan Adams did have a very good--and somewhat overlooked career.

It is interesting that you mention the term "glue guys" because Al Albert used that exact phrase to describe one of the players you mentioned, Bobby Jones, when I interviewed Albert about his memories of broadcasting Jones' games in Denver; you can find my Bobby Jones article on the right hand side of the main page if you have not already read it.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 2:18:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Marcel:

I'm not sure which topic you think I am discussing too frequently or what specifically I wrote that you think is "whining." While I have previously written various things about each of the players mentioned in this post I had yet to address this specific topic--"making teammates better"--in this fashion. I don't see how an objective reader could think that I said anything bad about the five main players in question; I just specified what exactly each one does to make his team better as opposed to this nebulous concept of "making teammates better." If anything, I would expect to get more criticism from Marbury fans but I think that my comments about him are self evidently justified.

As for your comparison of how people reacted to Arenas versus Kobe and your assessment of why people dislike Kobe I think that you are correct on both counts. Arenas' little scoring streak got more praise than Kobe did for much more substantial streaks and I think that Kobe is "hated" for some of the reasons that you listed. However, just because a lot of writers and fans don't have the real story straight does not mean that I have to adhere to their false understanding of the game.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 2:39:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous II:

I would be interested to hear which players on Phx have been "made better" by Nash? The relationship between Nash and his teammates, as I explained in the post, is synergistic: he is a great passer and they have excellent skill sets. Amare and Marion are finishers. Amare had no trouble finishing at the hoop when Kobe was giving him lob passes at the All-Star Game. Yes, that is an exhibition, but Nash is not the only player who can throw lobs or run a pick and roll play. Does Nash make Amare and Marion good rebounders? Did he "make" Barbosa the Sixth Man of the Year (keep in mind that Nash is on the bench a lot of the time that Barbosa is in the game)? Did Nash make Bell an All-Defensive Team player? There is a ton of talent on that Phx team; those players benefit from having a great point guard but he also benefits from playing with them. It would be interesting to see Nash "make" Kwame Brown better.

If Shaq can win titles so easily how come he only has four in his entire career and has been swept out of the playoffs more than any superstar in history? Yes, four titles is a lot but you are suggesting that Shaq can win with anybody, so by that logic he should have won more than four. Shaq won when he had an All-NBA level guard, a Hall of Fame coach and a lot of good role players. Shaq could not take this set of Lakers, minus Kobe, any farther than Kobe can take this set of Lakers minus Shaq.

To say that Kobe never passes the ball proves that you either have never watched Kobe play or you simply willfully disregard what you see for your own reasons. Kobe led the Lakers' championship teams in assists, as he led this current woeful Lakers' team in assists. As I noted in the post, Bryant and Duncan make a lot of passes out of double teams that lead to baskets but not assists.

Does Kobe force some shots? Sure he does, just like every other great scorer in the history of the NBA. I've never said that he is perfect or that he doesn't make mistakes. His mistakes, real and imagined, are so heavily scrutinized that they hardly need to be mentioned in depth here, so I concentrate on the things he does well that get ignored and the fact that he is held to a higher standard than the other top players.

The main "circumstance" that has kept Nash from a ring is that each year in the playoffs he runs into a team that has a superstar who has more of an impact on the series than he did: Duncan in '05 and '07, Dirk in '06. Think about this: Nash and Dirk, winners of the past three MVPs, were on the same team together along with Finley--once an All-Star, still a starter for the Spurs--and they could not even make it to the Finals once. How much talent does Nash need alongside him to "make better" before he will have at least one Finals appearance to show for his efforts? Twenty years from now, when people can look back at this era of basketball objectively, no one is going to be able to figure out how Nash won two MVPs with such a meager statistical resume and without winning even one title.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 2:54:00 AM, Anonymous jn said...

I've been thinking about this recently, and my problem lies in the word "teammates".

I don't think Duncan or Nash make their teammates better, it's their team they make better.

For all his individual stats, Marbury can't make his team(s) better, he does not show that the team would not be as good with any other player (of a starter level, natch) playing in his spot. Sometimes a great player directly affects the play of one specific teammate, say an assist, but other times he has a general, diffused influence. Duncan makes his team better in defense as Nowitzki does not, even though Duncan does not help out anybody in particular. He improves the whole teamplay.

That's why I think a good scorer can play "selfish" and help his team: if he scores efficiently and does not disrupt the flow of the game for his teammates, his points are helping the team. Of course, if he hogs the ball for a less efficient production, then he isn't helping his team at all.

I don't think that's something that can be measured in individual stats alone.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 3:08:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

I agree, JN. Basically, that was my point in a nutshell: great players make their teams better, not so much their "teammates," and they do this in ways that are not easy to capture statistically. Instead of an announcer gushing that a certain player makes his teammates better I wish he'd just explain exactly what the player did to help his team.

As Michael Jordan put it in a quote that I frequently mention, "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken (bleep)." That was his response when he was accused of not making his teammates better like Magic and Bird did. Jordan argued that it was easier to make Worthy or McHale better than Brad Sellers.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 3:38:00 AM, Anonymous jn said...

We-ell, I would say making Sellers better was far easier than making Sellers worse.

Actually, I think that poor players are easier to "improve" than good players as they have more room for improvement. The question is whether that helps the team. Recently I was re-watching an old Lakers game, and Magic was repeatedly feeding Kurt Rambis in the early minutes. The aim was obviously to make his defender stick to him instead of doubling up on Kareem or Worthy, but the Celtics were all too happy to let Rambis shoot (with hilarious consequences) rather than change their defense. The Lakers offense promptly forgot Rambis for good.

Magic could have ballooned Rambis' stats if he wished to. Would that have helped his team? The Bulls were a better team with Sellers inbounding to Jordan for The Shot rather than the other way around.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kobe shoots more than any other player the last couple years he shot worse than his team 9 of his 11 years he's a ball hog to the worse extent.

he's a very talented player but any of the top players vould of won the championship with shaq in his prime and shaq in his prime take the lakers alot farther than kobe could now in his prime.

he has 7 40 shot games he has the 3 worst shooting percentage when scoring 50 points in history jordan 69 18 and 6 was better than that 81 point game it rated higher too.

kobe is great at one on one but as a team player he's not great he should of went to college he never learned the concept of playing with a team

and he should never be compared to micheal jordan only thing he has jordan in is 3pt percentage barely every other category it's not even close jordan is way better 5 mvp's 6 finals mvp' 1 defensive player of the year 10 or 11 first team all nba 10 scoring titles i could go on and on the comparison is a joke.

kobe is a very talente player just wayoverated by you people my top 5 players in the league are 1. lebron james 2. tim duncan 3. dwayne wade 4. steve nash 5. dirk kobe is 6th to me

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:24:00 AM, Blogger vednam said...

I agree with your article, but I think there are a few more important points that could be added.

The system a player plays in greatly affects their ability to "make their team effective" (or whatever you want to call it). Depending on the system, someone could come off looking like Nash or looking like Marbury. I am sure you could put Marbury in a system where he would be able to "make his team effective" and you could put Nash (or Duncan, or whoever) in a system where it looks like he does a lackluster job of "making his team effective".

For example, take Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Russell is often cited as being one of the best ever at "making his team effective" and Chamberlain is often cited as someone who was extremely selfish and had no understanding of how to "make his team effective".

I don't want to take away from Russell, who was truly amazing, but I think he was in an incredibly ideal system and situation to be able to "make his team effective". I, for one, DON'T think the Celtics would have been at least as successful if you substituted Russell with Chamberlain (Chamberlain admitted as much). Russell fit in too perfectly. However, if you put Russell on Wilt's early Warrior teams, I don't think he would have been all that successful.

Now, look at Chamberlain. He played for 8 different coaches in his career (in 9 different phases; Alex Hannum coached him in two separate stints). Some coaches (Frank McGuire) wanted him to shoot as much as possible. Some (Hannum) wanted him to shoot less and focus more on passing, and some wanted him to hardly shoot at all (Bill Sharman). Another coach (Bill Van Breda Kolff) had no idea what to do with Wilt on offense and just wanted him to stay out of Elgin Baylor's way. Some coaches wanted to run, some wanted to slow it down. How can a player really show his ability to "make his team effective" if he has to adjust so often? Also, we saw that when Wilt was in the right system (Hannum's 76ers and Sharman's Lakers), he excelled at "making his team effective". When in the wrong system (Van Breda Kolff's Lakers), he looked like he made his team less effective.

I think that because of this, you have to look at a player in two ways when assessing his value. First, look at his track record of being able to "make his team effective". Second, look at his individual skills. For instance, Magic Johnson was a better individual talent than Steve Nash and therefore, I think, less reliant upon his system to allow him to play well.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 8:19:00 AM, Anonymous jn said...

Speaking on systems, coaches should be credited with making the best use of players as well.

I don't know if Michael Jordan made Scott Williams better, but Phil Jackson turned an undrafted rookie with significant shortcomings into a very useful backup big man. Steve Kerr has his best seasons as a Bull, and I think that Jackson helped there a bit too. Pat Riley had a slumping player like Mychal Thompson become a basic piece in a champion team against McHale and the Celtics.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 3:00:00 PM, Blogger alternaviews said...

"As Michael Jordan put it in a quote that I frequently mention, "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken (bleep)." That was his response when he was accused of not making his teammates better like Magic and Bird did. Jordan argued that it was easier to make Worthy or McHale better than Brad Sellers. "

and we all know what an expert talent-evaluater and basketball mind Jordan has proven himself to be in managemetn positions with the Wizards and Bobcats.

maybe you'll start a physics blog & quote peyton manning -- he can throw a ball really well, so, like, he really must know a lot about aerodynamics, right?

nice job

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 3:32:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

JN:

In theory it may be easier to "improve" poor players but the reality is that no matter how many double-teams Jordan drew or no matter how many great passes he threw, Brad Sellers was never, ever going to play as well as James Worthy. Jordan's point was that Magic was getting credit for winning with great teams while Jordan was getting blamed for losing with mediocre ones. Jordan proved quite nicely that when he had a good supporting cast that he, too, could "make his teammates better." Magic deserved the credit that he got but that doesn't mean that Jordan should have been blamed in the years that he did not win titles because his team was simply not good enough (kind of like LeBron or Kobe this year).

Magic could possibly have increased Rambis' stats to a point by feeding him the ball but even Magic could not have turned Rambis into a 20 ppg player who shot .550 or better from the field, like Worthy in his prime. You are certainly right that it would have been foolish to try this--which is why it baffles me when people say that Kobe should stop shooting so much and pass more to...Smush Parker and Kwame Brown?!

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 3:46:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous II:

Yes, Kobe shoots a lot. Maybe you didn't notice, but he also led the league in scoring the past two years, so he scores a lot, too. I have documented here many times that the Lakers' record is actually better during his career during his 40 and 50 point games--and that trend extends back to the Shaq era. In case you missed those numbers, the Lakers went 13-5 in '07 when Kobe scored at least 40 and have gone 59-26 during his career in his 40 point games. They went 7-3 in his 50 point games in '07 and are 15-6 during his career in his 50 point games. Kobe scores a lot because his team needs him to do this, because he is better at it than anyone since Jordan and because those high scoring games generally result in victories.

West, Barry and others also had games in which they attempted at least 40 shots. What is your source for Kobe having the three worst shooting 50 point games in history? Rick Barry and Elgin Baylor chucked up a lot of shots back in the day. I know a lot of NBA stats but I don't have the shooting stats for every 50 point game ever. However, in my April 8 post I compiled the stats for Kobe's 16 40 point games to that point in 2006-07. The Lakers were 12-4 in those games and Kobe averaged 48.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 4.7 apg while shooting .514 from the field, .500 from three point range and .853 from the free throw line. I can state with confidence that there is no one else in the NBA today who could put together 16 games in one season at that level of productivity; in fact, 48 points in one game would be a career-high for most players. Even if your stat about the 3 worst shooting 50 point games is accurate, what does that prove? Most great home run hitters also strike out a lot; to be a great scorer you have to take a lot of shots.

I've never said that Kobe is as good as MJ, so you are making a straw man argument. I have said that Kobe is the closest player to MJ in today's game in terms of scoring, overall ability and competitiveness.

If Shaq could do as much as you suggest in his prime how come he kept getting swept out of the playoffs? Shouldn't he have been worth at least one win against anybody in a playoff series? Kobe was worth one win this year against Phx.

To say that Kobe never learned to play with a team is silly. He already has won three championships as an All-NBA player and the team's assists leader.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 3:53:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Vednam:

I agree to some extent with your general point about systems and I think that your specific example about Russell and Wilt is very apt. However, the difference between Russell and Wilt was not merely "system" but also talent. The Celtics had far superior talent most of the time--multiple Hall of Famers in their primes. Wilt rarely had that but he won big on two occasions when he had great supporting casts. Also, by the time Wilt played with West and Baylor all three of them were on the downside of their careers, even though Wilt and West were certainly still productive. The Knicks' teams that they battled were much younger and I think that this difference is not considered often enough.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 3:56:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Vednam:

As for Magic versus Nash, clearly Magic is a far superior player in terms of overall skills. That this comparison is even made is ridiculous. Magic could have been successful at any position, as he showed in Game Six of the 1980 NBA Finals. That gets to the heart of my argument about why Nash is not the best player in the NBA--there are a few other players who are bigger and more versatile and have a greater overall impact on the game. Not coincidentally, those players' teams beat Nash and the Suns every year in the playoffs--and Kobe's team was one defensive rebound away from doing the same thing in '06.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:01:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

JN:

You are right that coaches play a big role in this, too. It all comes back to putting players in positions where they can be successful. Coaches do this by deciding which players to put on the court at the same time and what system to use to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Of course, it helps to have a great player on the court who will attract a lot of attention. People say that anyone could win with Shaq or with Jordan but Jordan and Shaq played a lot of years before they won titles. Shaq's titles have come under two Hall of Fame caliber coaches.

Steve Kerr candidly admitted to me that he was on his way out of the league before he signed with Phil Jackson and the Bulls. Smush was not in the league before Jackson signed him and turned him into a starting point guard. Jackson has also gotten more out of Kwame than anyone else has and got good production out of Ron Harper in the twilight days of his career, transforming a once-great scorer into a defensive specialist.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:12:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Alternaviews:

What does MJ's career as an executive have to do with anything? Stick to the question at hand. Would you care to disagree with Jordan on this issue and explain that Sellers was in fact as good as Worthy? I'd be interested to hear that.

When MJ was paired with another elite player, Scottie Pippen, he won six titles (the roster completely changed, other than Pip, from the first three-peat to the second). When Kobe was paired with an All-NBA center, he won three titles. When Nash was paired with an All-NBA center he...shot 1-8 in the fourth quarter, disappeared for the first half of Game Six and then whined after his team lost. In previous playoff years, he watched Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki be the best player on the floor. A great player needs to play alongside another great player--or to play with several very good players--in order to win. No great player can win by himself--not Kobe and not Shaq. However, when the supposedly best player in the league plays with a deep and talented team and wins nothing, one wonders if he is really the best player in the league. Look at the other players who won MVPs and played with talented teams--they all took their teams to the Finals at some point and most won championships. No one else has won two MVPs without going to the NBA Finals.

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:21:00 PM, Blogger alternaviews said...

" When Kobe was paired with an All-NBA center, he won three titles. When Nash was paired with an All-NBA center "

if you think that Amare Stoudemire 2007 is comparable than Shaq 2000-02, then I dont need to bother responding

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:22:00 PM, Blogger alternaviews said...

(comparable to) ... so I dont get attacked for grammar again

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 9:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kobe is a terrible shot selection taker it is clear to anybody that wathes the game thats why he takes 40 shots 7 times and highest ever shooting percentage is 46 percent jordan was over 50 percent 6 times.

allen iverson is better than kobe and has had a better career than kobe has an mvp, led a terrible team to the finals 4 scoring titles and only shoots worse because he so smaller and he could of won the 3 rings with shaq as well.

kobe has the worse 3 percentges scoring 50 points 9 of 11 years he shot worse than his team jordan shot better than his team every year just for comparison.

kobe hasnt done anything without shaq at least nash still got to the conference finals without his second best player stoudamire and to compare stoudamire to shaq and act like it's equal is a joke you ride for kobe but all real basketball people no he's a very talented player but a horrible leader and not a guy who can take you to the promise land.

kobe shoots alot if you shoot alot you shoud score alot? if lebron james and dwayne wade wanted to lead the league in scoring and shoot as much as kobe they could of done it too lebron is a better all around player than kobe is and so is wade and duncan. kobe a great scorer there great players.

kobe has to win a couple of rings playing the number 1 spot not the 2 for me to be a beliver other than that he's just a scorer

 
At Thursday, May 24, 2007 9:39:00 PM, Blogger marcel said...

i went on you tube anyomous 2 is right kobe did shot worse than his team 9 times of 11 and had the 3 worse percentages scoring 50 points. and stoudamire didnt play in game 5 and didnt play against dallas last year duncan and dirk had there full team nash was missing his second best guy. stoudamire aint no shaq in his prime where the hell you get that at dude. and nobody ever said nash was the best player you made that up no analyst has ever said nash is the best player in the league you just love to hate on nash and make up stuff you try to legitimize your argument because your mad that people like him and dont like your hero your beloved kobe and so you hate on the great steve nash but without stodamire kobe could not take that same roster past dallas either

 
At Friday, May 25, 2007 12:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it wasnt like 16 straight games it was 16 of an 82 game season micheal jordan had 10 triple double in 11 games way better than the number you said.

he clearly didnt shoot 50 percent for the whole season so he had is customary 35 percent 13-33 games where he score 37 points. and thats what kobe does score bird magic jordan lebron wade were all around better players kobe was one dimensional in the 81 and 62 game he had 2 asists.

in the 81 point game he was asisted on 2 of the 28 shots meaning he started with the ball and he never passed it 26 of 28 times come on it dont get more ballhog than that.

81 point game was agianst a terrible team and defense team only team he scored alot of points that was good was dallas 62 in 3 quarters and dallas is hardly the juggernaut on defense. jordan scored 63 agianst arguably the greatest team ever his game way better than kobe's.

kobe good stop acting like he this legend nobody could touch im not hateing im stateing fact wade and james are better funny thing is kobe shot the lakers out of the finals in 04 with shaq payton and malone on that team. shaq and payton reunite with a team layer like wade they beat detroit and dallas hmmmmmm

 
At Friday, May 25, 2007 3:43:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Alternaviews:

Nash and Amare were the only teammates who made All-NBA First Team this year. Shaq and Kobe were the last teammates to achieve this.

No, I don't think that Amare is comparable to Shaq (when Shaq was in his prime) but Amare was judged to be the best center in the NBA this year. The real point is that Nash is not as good as Kobe. That is why the team with two All-NBA First Teamers plus another All-Star, an All-Defensive First Teamer and the Sixth Man Award winner (luxuries that Shaq and Kobe did not have during the championship years) is sitting at home now--and don't cry about Game Five: one, Amare and Diaw were the only two players in the whole playoffs who lost their composure and violated this rule, so them missing Game Five is no different than a team losing a key player to fouling out; two, the Suns had a chance to win the game anyway and Nash shot 1-8 in the fourth quarter; three, Magic, who did not win MVP or Rookie of the Year in 1980, led the Lakers to a Game Six win in the Finals without Kareem, who was much better than Amare (and you could make a case that he was better than Shaq but that's a story for another day).

 
At Friday, May 25, 2007 4:04:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous II:

Why do you keep bringing up Jordan? I've never said that Kobe is as good as Jordan, let alone better than Jordan. All I've said that Kobe is the best player in the NBA today, so you are arguing against something that neither I nor anyone else here has said.

The "terrible" team that Iverson led to the Finals had a real center (Mutombo) who was the Defensive Player of the Year and several role players who were excellent defenders who bought into the idea of Iverson taking a ton of shots while they did the dirty work. They also played in a weak conference, beating the Pacers, Raptors and Bucks to get to the Finals where they lost to, hello, Shaq and Kobe's Lakers.

Don't use Iverson's height as an excuse for his shooting percentage. As for Iverson being able to win three titles with Shaq, I doubt it. Many of the games and series that the Shaq-Kobe Lakers won were close. Kobe is a much better defender than Iverson so I don't believe that the Lakers would have won with Iverson in his place. Also, Iverson would not have fit in Jackson's triangle offense and he and Shaq would have feuded over the ball even more than Shaq and Kobe did. Kobe's contributions to the championships came in the form of scoring, passing and defense and no one else who was in the league at that time could have filled his role as well as he did.

You can speculate as much as you want about what guys could do or might have done but here is the bottom line:

Kobe: 3 championships while being an All-NBA and All-Defensive Team player (in other words, a vital player, not some guy who was just along for the ride).

Iverson, Nash and the other players you think are better than Kobe: no championships

Since when did Youtube become the official authority on statistics? Cite something from an official source like the Sporting News NBA Guide or NBA.com or the NBA Encyclopedia. So what if Kobe shot a lower percentage than his team did overall. Do you think that the team would have shot a better percentage and won more games if Kobe shot 10 times and the other 15 shots were distributed elsewhere? You are making a big assumption that other players could maintain their shooting percentage with increased attempts. The reality is that they shot as well as they did because Kobe was drawing the defense, leaving them open.

Nash got to the conference finals with a stacked team that should only be satisfied with winning the whole thing. What does that have to do with Kobe carrying a bad team to the playoffs?

The whole Kobe has to win another title thing is a joke. How about Nash has to win one title after winning two MVPs? Why doesn't anyone say that. Maybe I could buy what you say about Kobe if he sat the bench like Steve Young did behind Joe Montana. Young had to win a title--and did--but Kobe was on the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams during the title years. That means he was one of the five best all around players in the league on a three-time champion. Honestly, he has nothing to prove and would walk into the Hall of Fame if he retired today. Winning another title is gravy. Obviously, it would enhance his legacy even more but to suggest that he needs to do this is foolish.

 
At Friday, May 25, 2007 4:10:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Yeah, Payton really did a lot in the 04 and 06 Finals. His defense in '04 was wonderful. That is why the veteran Lakers from previous title teams met with Jackson and begged him to bench Payton so that they would have a chance to win. That is why whoever Payton guarded went off and Kobe had to keep switching between Billups and Hamilton. I guess you were so busy missing all of those things that you didn't notice that Malone was hurt and ineffective; that cost the Lakers even more than Payton playing like garbage.

You're right, 81 points and leading your team from a double digit deficit is not that impressive. Here is a list of all the players in the history of the NBA who have scored more points:

Wilt Chamberlain

I guess Toronto must have been the first terrible team ever. I wonder why the Lakers were down double digits before Kobe started scoring so much. Could it be that the team is not that good without Kobe scoring a lot of points?

 
At Friday, May 25, 2007 4:15:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Marcel:

I haven't made anything up. Nash has won two MVPs. I've heard announcers compare him favorably to Magic Johnson. He has been accorded a status far beyond his statistical achievements and the success of his team. That is what I am pointing out. It's not about "hating" Nash or "loving" Kobe. It's about actually analyzing the way that the game is played.

 
At Friday, May 25, 2007 6:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have no arguement on most of what i said because you know iverson is better and he could play with shaq kobe a worse ball hog than him.

iverson at 6ft led a terrible team to the finals he's unique no other player in the game like him kobe is a 6ft 6 gunner it has been proven already.

kobe will not be an all time great and nowhere near the top 10 players all time if he dont win a couple of rings without shaq to solidify his greatness. hell be remebered as a great player with shaq who couldnt lead a team on his own like he is now.

kobe got lucky iverson and nash have not they would win a championship with shaq as well kobe wasnt the driving force he was the man next to the man shaq led that team without him there not relevant.

iverson never played with another great player and he got a team to the finals. when kobe hasnt haha he cant get out the first round even in the east now the lakers suck ha.

those other players didnt take every shot for there team for 2 quarters and 46 in the game. bird jordan iverson could of done that as well.

kobe legacy is played with shaq he a hall of famer but doesnt have the respect from media and peers of wilt russell jordan bird shaq magic kareem isiah oscar robertson jerry westetc.

 
At Friday, May 25, 2007 2:33:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

I have no argument with what you said? I refuted what you said. Go back and read what I wrote again.

I do agree that Iverson is a unique player. I think that he is the most amazing athlete who I have ever seen in person, based on his ability to thrive in the NBA at 6-0 (generous) 170 (or so)--but "amazing" and "best" are not the same thing. He certainly is not the best basketball player I have ever seen and he certainly is not better than Kobe. I'm guessing that Kobe is not going to be traded for Andre Miller anytime soon.

Kobe is already an all-time great. Go to the NBA Guide and look up the players who have made the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams as often as he has; the eligible ones are all in the Hall of Fame, as Kobe will be the second that he is eligible for induction, even if he retired today.

I don't believe in luck and neither does any true competitor. Kobe played a major role on three championship teams and the Lakers would not have won any of those titles without him.

Did Iverson get out of the first round this year? He's playing with Melo, Defensive Player of the Year Camby and other good players. I'm not taking anything away from Iverson, one of my favorite players, but he's no Kobe Bryant.

If Kobe has "no" respect then why does the media vote him First Team All-NBA almost every year and the coaches vote him First Team All-Defense?

 
At Friday, May 25, 2007 7:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im clearly beating you to the punch you have no argument. kobe got 5 all nba in 11 years almost every year first team i meant? iverson got traded because of diffrent circumstances for andre miller which a few years ago would be weird not as much now.

people dont respect kobe like an all time great player because he never was the best player who led a team to the ring for the record kobe shot 38% in the 04 finals and in also shot teriible in 2000 he worsen his team chances not helped them while shaq averaged 38,35, 33 ppg in the 3 championship teams and was super dominant and by far better than kobe was

the source is basketball-reference dot com look under full court and do a stats search. most of the wins come because he scores alot more often agianst poor teams games that the lakers would probably win anyway. one of the 4 staight 50pt games he shot under 50 percent one of the worse percentages ever.

of the all time 50 point games 13 have been under 50% kobe has 6 off them half of them. what that means is, he is kobe often get high scoring games by shot jacking not impressive you think it is.

mj had 3 staight 50+ point games he shot 60% in those games i always bring up mj because it's a super joke to compare them.

kobe was a great defender this year was on reputation everybody knows that he's not a great defender just a good one now.

im not a kobe hater im a truth teller you though i was just coming on here not knowing my stuff i know my stuff david

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 3:31:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous:

My reference to Kobe's All-NBA selections clearly meant when the Lakers were a championship team. Anyone who is an All-NBA player on a championship team, let alone three, obviously played a big role in that success. Since that time he has been All-NBA First or Second Team almost every year. Kobe came to the NBA straight out of high school and did not make the All-NBA Teams right out of the box, just like most preps to pro players (the recent exceptions being LeBron and Amare, who got heavy playing time sooner than Kobe, T-Mac and KG did).

Most of what you are talking about are hypotheticals that can be neither proven nor disproven, though they make little sense to anyone who actually analyzes the game: saying that several players could have replaced Kobe, speculating that the Lakers would have won certain games without him scoring 50+ points, declaring that Kobe is not respected as an all-time great? Not respected by whom? Someone who won't even give his real name? I talk to enough retired and current players and coaches--people who really know the game--to know how much Kobe is in fact respected. A bunch of hypothetical statements don't change that one bit.

I went to Bask. Ref.com and did the search that you described. The first thing to note is that the boxscore search only goes back to 1986-87, so it hardly covers all of NBA history. Shooting percentages vary from era to era and the overall field goal percentages in this era are down compared to the era that MJ played in, largely because of the increased use of the three point shot. You completely fail to account for that in your analysis. Kobe is a better three point shooter than MJ and shoots a lot more threes than MJ did, so the difference between their true shooting percentages is not as great as you portray.

Looking at the boxscores from 87-present, Kobe has five of the top 17 scoring games in that period, tying MJ for the most. Kobe has the first, fourth and sixth best efforts and he shot over .580 from the field in each of those despite attempting at least 10 three pointers in each of those games. I like the earlier comment that the 16 40 point games that I listed were not consecutive but came in an 82 game season. Yes, and what's your point? That is a fifth of the season that Kobe averaged 48.9 ppg with an insane shooting percentage. Can you find anyone other than Wilt who had 16 similar games in one season? Kobe has averaged 40 ppg for a month multiple times and had a streak of nine straight 40 point games that saved the Lakers' 2003 season. If it somehow makes you feel better to believe that Kobe is a gunner who only scores 50 points in games against bad teams then there is really nothing that I can do for you.

"Everybody" knows that Kobe is not a great defender--except, apparently, the league's head coaches. I'll stick with their judgment over yours.

Pay close attention to the next sentence. I hate using all caps, which is shouting, but you clearly are not listening: NO ONE HERE HAS SAID THAT KOBE IS AS GOOD AS MJ. So, please stop using that as a strawman for Nash or anyone else who has won three less rings than Kobe, doesn't play good defense and whose game is not as fundamentally complete. Perhaps you are new to the discussion here, so I will reiterate why Kobe is the best player in the game today. My case is NOT based purely on his scoring, either in total or in his best games. I look at the game from a scout's perspective. Kobe has no weaknesses:

1) Finishes at the hoop with either hand
2) Dribbles well with either hand
3) Has excellent post moves and footwork
4) Draws fouls and shoots FTs very well
5) Has three point range
6) Can get off a good shot attempt even against good defense
7) Rebounds well for his position
8) Reads double-teams well and makes the correct passes, which don't always lead to assists for two reasons: the second pass out of the trap often leads to the assist and it is not possible for anyone to get an assist if the shot is not made
9) Excellent defender, as acknowledged by the league's head coaches in All-Defensive Team voting
10) Tremendous inner drive and will to win

There is no other player in the NBA about which all of the above can truthfully be said.

Saying that you know your stuff and actually proving it are two very different things.

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 3:52:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

By the way, your numbers about 50 point games and sub. 500 shooting percentages are, not surprisingly, wrong.

I just did a boxscore search at Bask. Ref.com. Again, it is important to note that this only covers '87-present, not all-time as you erroneously said. During that period there have been 13 times that a player scored 50 points while shooting less than .500 from the field and Kobe does indeed have six of those. Let's look a little more closely at those games. Kobe's team went 3-3, with two of the losses on the road (even good teams struggle to win half of their road games). The worst of Kobe's shooting percentages is .415 but that includes 7-15 shooting from three point range. He ended up with 50 points on 41 field goal attempts, well more than a point per shot, and had eight rebounds and eight assists in a 112-109 win. A similar story can be told for most of the other six games; in every single one Kobe has significantly more points than field goal attempts because of three point shots and drawing fouls for free throws. Any coach would love to have a player who can score 50 points at a better than a point per field goal attempt clip. Your whole argument is based on selective information, false information ("all-time" as opposed to post '87), a misunderstanding of how three point shooting (and free throws) factor in to overall scoring efficiency and wild hypotheticals that cannot be proven or disproven but make no sense to anyone who understands basketball.

As for the All-NBA Teams, Kobe became a full-time starter in 1999, his third season. He made Third Team All-NBA that year and has made the following teams since then:

00: 2nd
01: 2nd
02: 1st
03: 1st
04: 1st
05: 3rd
06: 1st
07: 1st

So, he has been on the 1st Team five of the last six years. I think that counts as "almost every year," just as I said before.

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 4:05:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

In my April 8 post about Kobe's 40 point games in 2006-07 (he had two more after that to make a total of 18 and in those last two he shot 17-33 and 18-25...) I mentioned "adjusted field goal percentage," which is more meaningful than field goal percentage because it includes the effect of three point shooting and drawing fouls. "Adjusted field goal percentage" is calculated by subtracting free throws made from points scored, dividing that number by field goals attempted and then dividing again by two. Apply that formula to Kobe's "worst" 50 point game in the boxscore search and it works out to .500! In other words, in Kobe's "worst" 50 point game he shot the equivalent of 25-50 from the field with no threes or free throws. Of course, he made a lot of threes and free throws in the actual game, which mitigated the effect of his missed shots. As I said before, he also had a near triple-double. With that kind of shooting on a "bad" night plus a tremendous floor game, I'll leave it to the readers to judge how much Kobe had to do with a three point victory.

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 5:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i said kobe had the sixth worst shooting percentages i was correct you try to spin it and eliminate 3's and free throws to make the percentage higher he had 6 of the 13 worst. 50pts on 41 shots yeah coaches want that?

also you always youse magic johnson to denigrate nash but no analyst has ever said that nash was as good as johnson or close. they always say stupidly kobe is close to jordan he dont belong in the same gym as him.

i also said correctly he made 5 first team all nba team you said he made all nba every year basically and he didnt make first team 6 of his 11 years he makes it every year yep? and you try to spin it and say he made 5 of the last 6 but you didnt say that in your post ha ha you said every year but he been in the league for 11 and only made 5 first teams.

and kobe aint the best player wade and james and duncan are wade carried his team with an older shaq in the finals last year kobe never carried the lakers at any stretch in those finals he won it was all about shaq ask any of those 3 teams why the lakers won in the finals big diesel was why not kobe.

and kobe carried the lakers and saved there season in 03? ha ha they were 3-9 or 3-10 till shaq came and then as usual when shaq came back they started winning thats why he didnt win mvp that year he came in third because duncan was the driving force of his team unlike your hero.

kobe 16 games april 8th thing was cool it was in in an 82 game season and you take his 4o pint games if you take a great players best games in a season there going to do similar numbers if they scored 40 points 16 times. if you got 40 points 16 times shouldnt you average 40 points?

my name is kevin what does that got to do with anything. and kobe a gunner that shoots alot to score alot and he has never been a team leader and not respected by his peers like shaq or jordan west bird etc is what im saying with all time great thing kobe a great player who is more one dimensional than anything.

wade james iverson were better all around players than kobe will ever be and get more respect and be remebered alot more than the greatest number 2 option ever kobe bean bryant

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 6:40:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

You said that the stats you cited were for "all-time" but they were only for 20 years--you left out about 40 years of NBA history.

If you don't consider the impact of three point shooting and free throws then you are hopelessly distorting the truth--and, yes, any coach would take 50 points on 41 field goal attempts. Say an NBA team attempts 85 shots a game--that would work out to almost 104 ppg.

I don't care if you like Kobe or dislike him but don't just make up stuff and say that you are citing facts. You had the wrong years and, intentionally or not, gave a very misleading impression about Kobe's true shooting efficiency in the games in question. There is also the additional issue of six games being a very small sample size.

If five out of the past six years on the All-NBA First Team is not "almost every year" then I don't know what is. Who cares about what Kobe was doing more than six years ago? If you go back that far then Nash was barely an All-Star. Aren't we talking about current and recent history and championship level play? I made it clear in the one comment that I was talking about making the All-NBA Teams during the title runs and in the other comment that I was talking about the past few years. Anyway, your math is off because if you are going to count his whole career he made All-NBA nine times--every year that he has been a starter. He has been a fixture on the first team for the past six years, except for 2005 when he was injured. You keep harping on this alleged mistake of mine because you have no answer for the multitude of facts and statistics that I have cited to counter your wild hypothetical situations and false and/or misleading statistics.

Mike Breen, for one, made the Nash-Magic comparison and I have heard others do it, too.

Your assertions about the level of respect that Kobe enjoys among NBA players and coaches are 100% false. Have you spoken to one NBA player or coach about Kobe? I have and I can assure you that you don't know what you are talking about.

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 2:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you make up false numbers to try to defend kobe he had 6 of 13 worst also he had 7 40 shot games in his alusterous shooting career.

kobe 81 point game was a hollinger 64 but jordan 69 18 6 was a better game and got a hollinger ranking of 65. kobe also has the 7 of the 15 worse shooting percentages when scoring 50+ points and the only player in history to score 60 points and not get an assist in a game dubious distiction.

kobe shot 38% in the 2000 finals while scoring 15.5 points yeah dominant 04 he averaged 22 ppg and shot 38% both times shooting his team out the series in 2000 was lucky shaq averaged 38 so he could get them out that hole.

kobe top rated season was #42 wilt had 3 of the 20 top rated seasons all time in effiency jordan had 7 kobe highest is #42 i could go on and on man do some resarch man before you start makeing up stuff.

granted kobe scored 81 points had 62 has 4 60 point games nobody has that had 10 50 last year has alot of 40+ in his career he not efficint in alot of those games.

im not makeing up anything he had the 6 of the 13 worst all time my source basketball reference go to full court and player stats it goes from 46-47 to 2006-2007 man he made the first team all nba 5 times in 11 years i said that you said he made it basically every year no he didnt. if you would said he made the all nba team 5 of the last 6 years first team i have no argument with you or he made it 9 times as a starter all 3 teams then no argument.

you lied and said he made it basically every year. kobe good he's not effeicent. coaches dont want players to score 20 points on 20 shots what? you said a point per shot no you should be 10 to 12 shots ahead of points when kobe had alot of those 50 point games he was a few shots in front of points to where other players are 20 shots ahead of points ill givwe you data in a minuute

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 3:33:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Now you are basically reducing yourself to name calling since you have no facts or information to cite. In reality, you either lied or misunderstood your own research, because the full court area only has boxscores dating back to 1986-87, not "all-time." I already explained why Kobe's field goal percentage in those games is not as meaningful as his adjusted field goal percentage. You are knocking yourself out to find something bad to say about Kobe but the best example you found is a game in which he scored 50 points on 41 field goal attempts.

Now, you are doing the classic bait and switch. I refuted the time frame and relevance of your first set of accusations about Kobe being a ballhog, so now you ignore that and come up with some more misleading stats. What difference does it make if Hollinger rates one MJ game one point higher than one Kobe game? They were both exceptional games and I already said that I have never asserted that Kobe is better than MJ anyway, nor did I say that Kobe was better than Wilt. I said find some non-Wilt or non-MJ seasons in which a player had 16 or 18 better games than Kobe did this year. I guess you weren't able to, so Kobe must be third greatest all-time on your list behind Wilt and MJ.

You don't understand basic NBA stats. Averaging a point or a little more than a point per field goal attempt is good, particularly for a high volume shooter like Kobe who faces so much defensive attention. Do you really think that the Lakers would have done better with someone else taking the shots?

You are oversimplifying what happened in those two Finals, but I will address that later. I will say one thing now, though: both Phil Jackson in The Last Season and Lazenby in Mind Games talk about how disrepectful Shaq was to Tex Winter, how bad his post defense was and how much Malone's injury and Payton's ineffectiveness hurt the Lakers in the 04 Finals. They both said that Kobe basically wore himself down from having to carry the team all year.

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 4:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mike breen has never said nash was as good as magic where you get that from. people always disrespect mike and put kobe and him in the same sentence especially doug collins does that and even doug said kobe didnt have a great defensive year.

kobe dissed gilbert arenas becauise he dropped 60 on him saying crazy things like he has qusetionable shot selection what is your name it should be questionable shot selection.

coaches gave it to him becase they still think he can play d but he really cant like people will tell you know micheal jordan was always a team player that was false he was a ballhog early in his career till he got great players around him then he trusted them and they started winning. but the theory now is that he always was a team player who only cared about winning.

im basically saying that coaches are saying he's a great defender on his reputation in his younger years, like people still thought mike tyson was always the 1980's mike tyson even if it was 2003 and he was 36. he was always favored against oponets he should of never been. just like kobe on the al defensive team becuase people still think he's a great defender when he is not

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 5:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anybody who knows basketball knows that shaq was the driving force of the 3 championship teams go ask sacremento go ask all those teams in the west why didnt you win those 3 years shaquille oneal theyll say kobe did his thing but kobe is replaceble on that team with any other superstar shaq is not is what im saying.

shaq winning percentage is 80 percent without kobe during those 8 years kobe without shaq was 55 percent shaq was the driving force if shaq wasnt on the team lakers are irrelevant without kobe the lakers would still be a very good team and a team to be reckon with.

kobe started 3-9 in 03 without shaq they didnt start winning till shaq came back and kobe mvp talk started but he really wasnt a canidate because shaq was the real mvp on the team thats why he didnt win it.

shaq won all 3 finals mvp since you think kobe was the man on those teams. and i never called you a name or kobe a named i just look up stats try to switch my stats and lie about them my site i got to is all time do 1946-2006-2007 dude.

you have no argument so your being like a 14 year old who lost an argument makeing stuff up. i said he had 6 of the 13 worst all time true 50 point shooting percentages you want to take the 3 and free throws away from basketball fine.

i said he was the only player to score 60 and have no asisst true he didnt look to pass.

i said he shot worse than his team 9 of his 11 years thats true as well

kobe regualry takes shot over 2 or 3 guys i said in my first post and other superstar players could of won the championship with shaq as well ive been saying that.

he's a guy who has the ball too much when he's going he never passes 81 and 62 point games had spots where he was missing consecutive shots and not looking to pass thats why he has 2 assists in those games.

you said kobe gets voted all nba first team virtually every year is why everbody respects him he hasnt been first team 6 of his 11 years you pulled the old i meant to say 5 of the last 6 years but you didnt. then you had the nerve ha ha to say who cares about kobe and what he did 6 years ago ala his first 5 years dont count and it only matter what he did as a 3 time champion but you didnt say that. you said virtually every year your not reading your own post iwon this argument.

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 6:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kobe has 9 of the top 48 scoring games the last 21 years only allen iverson has shot under 50 percent of those 48 games pitiful. on the full court it has been done 100 times the last 21 years 13 times been under 50% he has 6 of them he has 21 in his career 40 percent of his games under 50 percent he's jacking up shots why dont oyu admit kobe people

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 6:48:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Look, I can't run a clip of the tape here with Breen saying it, so you either believe it or you don't.

I find it difficult to believe that coaches vote for the All-Defensive Team based on reputation; they vote based on which players give their teams the most problems defensively.

I gave the link to Basketball Reference.com in my post about blogs versus newspapers and it is easy to see that the boxscore search function only goes back to '87. Anyway, the only significant point about those games is that when you factor in threes and free throws then the overall shooting efficiency is good to excellent.

The All-NBA point that you are beating to death is tiresome. Kobe made the All-NBA Team each championship season and the First Team five of the past six years. Whatever you think you understood me to say, that is what I meant, OK? Let's go forward from there. Being selected each year that he has been a starter and being First Team five of the past six years is not too shabby, agreed? Who else has made the First Team five of the past six years?

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 6:59:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

If Kobe's shooting is so detrimental to the team then please explain their tremendous winning percentage in his 40 and 50 point games.

I agree that Shaq was the main guy on the Lakers' title teams and never said otherwise. What I said is that Kobe was a significant contributor at the All-NBA level, plus the All-Defensive level and as the primary playmaker. That means that although Shaq was the dominant player, Kobe could not have been replaced by anyone else who was in the NBA at that time.

I could go through a game by game and series by series analysis of Kobe's contributions but it's pretty obvious that this would be pointless. Facts are not going to sway you. You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

No one disputes that Kobe shoots a lot. You have yet to prove that he does this because he is selfish or that him doing this costs his team wins. His team has a good winning percentage in his high scoring games and he was the Lakers' assists leader during the title runs. Also, as I pointed out, assists are not the only or even best measure of passing. Kobe often passes out of double teams and then the second pass leads to a shot. So your stats about his assists in the 60 point games are meaningless.

What difference does it make that Kobe shoots lower than his team's shooting percentage? Are you saying that if he shot less and the role players shot more that the team would win more?

You throw a lot of numbers and assertions out there but there is no coherent overall point, other than you are convinced that Kobe is detrimental to his team.

One last point: just about everyone shoots below .500 now, so shooting below .500 is not as bad as it was in the 1980s when shooting percentages were higher. Now there are zone defenses plus the three point shot is used more. So you mention/fabricate as much as you want but you are not proving anything by listing Kobe's shooting percentages in his 50 point games.

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 7:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tim duncan has for the record, the link shows he has a 44 and 43 percent no other player was near that low he's the ultimate voulume guy is my point you try to say he's this perfect player i refuted that period

you lied about the all-nba i just corrected you okay he was during the championship seasons true whats your point he still was not the reason they won the rings shaq was. and wade won the ring with shaq and shaq was old which prove your theory in your post nobody could do that is bull ai and tmac even vince if playing with a peak shaq 2000-20002 would of done what kobe did if not better so you get nuthing for that.

bird made it his first nine years jordan made first team 10 years magic made it a whole bunch of times so did shaq so what your point 5 and 6 year is good nuthing unique like you think everything kobe does is.

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 7:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i seen it so it was unique to me he had the worse percentages all the elite level players shoot a better percentage than kobe wade lebron duncan nash, so it should tell you his shot selection isnt that good his highest ever was 46.3.

most of the great players shoot better than they team i noticed that he didnt and i pointed that out the players around him arent great but odom not bad i like him he doesnt get enough oppoutunites because of kobe shot selection to shine.

 
At Saturday, May 26, 2007 7:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

one more thing most players shoot under 50 percent in the regular season not in 50 point games like 4 or 5 players did it out of like 50 or 55 players he did it six times out of 21 games 40 percent of the time or wahtever thats not effeicent he's a great scorer he's just not effiecent.

all the other elite level players shoot better than kobe he the best player not in fg% lebron wade have him redbounds assist lebron wade have him turnovers they have him those 10 points you make lebron and wade are better finishers than kobe nad players as well

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 1:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are incoherent i didnt say nuthing about adjusted field goal percentage i`said fg% in those games and he was terrible case closed you lost the argument big and you know it you adjusted his field goal percentage to what you want to be.

you only counted 5 of his 11 years because the other 6 he didnt make all nba doesnt count or the 4 years he was a starter out of 9 years he didnt make first team dont count only count the last six?

and if you adjust all the others he still had the 7 of the 15 worst so whats your point anyway. you dont live in reality you live in your own world you think kobe is unreplaceble even though wade won the championship with a lesser shaq than kobe won the championships with.

you said iverson no kobe but he took a terrible team to the finals kobe cant get out of the first round without shaq and iverson scored more points got an mvp and got 4 scoring titles to kobe 2 would have 3 rings if he landed with shaq too as well.

of his 22 50pt games 15 is against bad teams of the 7 against the good teams 4 of the worst percentages are against the good teams so he feast on bad teams and thats why they won 15 games out of 22 games if he played against good teams all the time they wouldnt win as much nor would he score as much.

you have your opion i got mine i tell the truth you distort the facts and switch everything and make up what you want to make-up your a loser im a winner learn basketball before you get on a blog

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 1:50:00 AM, Anonymous Lakers Fan said...

Anonymous (aka Kevin?),

How many Lakers games have you watched in your life? Based on your posts, it must not be many. You can go to your stats sites all you want and quote them as much as you want, however, it doesn't replace watching a player in games. For you to make the comments you have about Kobe, especially during some of their playoff runs is ludicrous. He was an integral part of their championship teams and was not replacable by any of the players you mention. He was the facilitator of the triangle offense and most importantly an awesome defender.

The reason why the Lakers won those 3 championships is because of their defense not their offense. Iverson, T-Mac and Carter could have replaced Kobe? HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA (Sorry I fell on the floor and my fingers got stuck on the "H" and "A" keys) ... Do those guys even know how to spell defense let alone play it?

You try and make the point that Kobe is a gunner and is one dimentional but you keep going back to the fact that Shaq was their leading scorer for those 3 rings. He's a gunner but not those years? Well, which is it? Did he lead the team in assists or didn't he? When they were down by 15 in the fourth quarter against Portand and came back to win, the most popular highlight to this day is Kobe driving to the basket, drawing the defense and giving the ball up to Shaq for an alley-oop dunk. Gunner indeed!!

I am a die-hard Lakers fan and have no reason to hide it. I am sure your comeback will be to dismiss what I have to say and that I am biased, blah, blah, blah. It's pretty much the only argument you Kobe haters can make.

I have probably only missed a handful of the games since Kobe entered the league and I can speak for most Lakers fans when I say this. We would rather see Kobe shoot the ball with 3 defenders in his face then to see another of his scrub teammates miss another open shot AGAIN. At least with Kobe shooting we have a chance.

If it is painful for me to see them constantly miss wide open shots, I can't imagine what it's like for a competitor like him.

I also find it funny that you need to constantly bring up Jordan when you try to put Kobe down. You go to the consensus "best player of all time" to try and make Kobe look bad. Why not compare Kobe to Nash?

You love hypotheticals, so here is one for you. Barbosa, Bell, Bryant, Marion and Stoudmire as the starting 5. How many people think that team would not win the championship? Who would beat them?

Now let's compare, Nash, Parker, Walton, Odom and Brown with Odom, Walton and Brown all missing a lot of games this season. Could Nash pick up the slack with those guys injured? Would the team even make the playoffs? Let me help you, NO WAY!!

If Kobe and Nash switched teams, Kobe would not only have 2 or 3 MVP's, he would have the 2 or 3 rings to go along with it.

Switching Kobe with Nash would immediately propel that team into an elite defense team. (Kind of like the Spurs and Pistons). It takes a great defensive team to win a championship. If you go back in time, you'll be hard pressed to find a championship team that was not great defensively. This is why Nash has not been to the finals and why he will not win a championship.

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 3:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the reason they won the championships was because of shaq there defense was great but not just because of kobe because they had a big dude like shaq in the middle and iverson led the league in steals 4 times he played no defense yeah? and t mac kobe and i coould make a case vince in 2000-2002 was interchangeble some people thought t mac and vince was better than kobe and numbers were on par.

once again wade won with a way less shaq than kobe did those players were at there peak or close to it then that would definetely be enough to win with a shaq that averaged 38ppg 36ppg 33ppg.

and the lakers wouldnt win with nash but they wouldnt win with kobe if amare and diaw didnt play in game 5 this year either or he didnt play the whole season last year like amare didnt so kobe aint gonna win the ring either with them. he could win it if amare played last season agianst dallas and if amare played in game 5 this year. but so could steve nash we dont know that though unfortunately ha ha

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 3:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im not a kobe hater im a truth teller kobe a great player hall of famer and possibly top 15 all time i belive he is a better indivudual talent than probably any other player not a better team than most of them and that has been proven by his terrible shooting percentages nad his shooting percentages against good teams which are not that good

he feast on bad teams to where mike scored and was effiecent against anybody steve nash is more effiecent as well lebron and wade kobe great no doubt tho

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 3:37:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous:

You just posted several comments that reiterated what you said before--which anyone can plainly see that I already refuted--so pardon me if I don't go through the entire exercise again.

My favorite part is when you say that I "lied" about the All-NBA Teams when the fact is that you simply misunderstood what I wrote. My second favorite part is when you keep insisting that Bask-Ref.com FullCourt's boxscore search covers "all-time" when it only covers 1986-87-present. My third favorite part is when you call "adjusted field goal percentage" something that I made up when it is in fact a more sophisticated stat that intelligent analysts prefer to regular field goal percentage. I have other favorite parts, but I'll stop there. Thank you for the entertainment.

You apparently live in an amazing world in which you know more about basketball than the NBA's coaches (who vote for the All-Defensive Teams), the beat writers who cover each team (who vote for the All-NBA Teams) and Phil Jackson, a coach who has won nine titles yet "foolishly" persists in giving Kobe the ball 25-30 times a game. If only Jackson were as smart as you he would bench Kobe and give the ball to Odom, Kwame and Smush, who have combined for 0 All-Star appearances--but that is only because Kobe held them back by selfishly setting NBA scoring records.

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 6:38:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

I've been pretty patient, but now I would like to close the book on the whole business regarding Kobe Bryant and his All-NBA appearances. Here are three things that I said about this in various comments in this thread:

"He already has won three championships as an All-NBA player and the team's assists leader."

"Kobe: 3 championships while being an All-NBA and All-Defensive Team player (in other words, a vital player, not some guy who was just along for the ride)."

"If Kobe has "no" respect then why does the media vote him First Team All-NBA almost every year and the coaches vote him First Team All-Defense?"

The first two quotes refer specifically to the three championship years (2000-02). Bryant made the All-NBA Second Team in 2000 and 2001 and the All-NBA First Team in 2002. He also made the All-Defensive First Team in 2000 and the All-Defensive Second Team in 2001 and 2002. The significance of those honors is that this shows that Bryant was one of the top players in the league at both ends of the court during that time and an absolutely vital member of those championship teams.

The third quote came in response to the ludicrous suggestion that Kobe is not respected as a great player. I have interviewed many current and former players and coaches and I know for a fact that this is a ridiculous statement. Bryant has made the All-NBA First Team five of the past six years, which clearly qualifies as "almost every year." In addition, Bryant has made one of the three All-NBA Teams for nine straight years--every year that he has been a starter. Bryant has made the All-Defensive First Team five times, including four of the past five years. He also has earned two All-Defensive Second Team honors. To summarize: Bryant has earned nine All-NBA selections and seven All-Defensive selections in an 11 year career, nine of which Bryant has spent as a starter.

Any future comments saying that I "lied" about these facts will be immediately deleted, as will comments that are belligerent or repetitive. I don't care if you disagree with me or another commenter but bring something original to the debate.

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 7:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im sorry david for critzing kobe and telling the truth about him i got under your skin and i won the argument between me and you

to delete my comments was childs play but ill still comment on the post because im a basketball fan and i think i have great insight

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 8:25:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

You neither got under my skin nor did you "win" anything. I deleted your comment because you repeated again the nonsense that I "lied" and you did not add any new ideas past the ones you already posted. I welcome you as a reader and a commenter but I will not be slandered as a liar nor will I allow my readers to be subjected to repetitive comments. You are welcome to add something new.

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 8:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kobe is not respected as an all time great like i said you read it wrong like most of my post because he has not led a team to the championship he's not respected like shaq is for those rings i wonder why? maybe becuase he wasnt the best player on the team.

i never said he wasnt a great player he is i said not an all time great like jerry west or oscar robertson.


I never said that he wasnt a vital part of the championship teams he was, he wasnt the biggest reason they won the rings shaq was like pippen was great and vital to those bulls championship teams but jordan was the biggest reason they won.

you said with no doubt he couldnt be replace by tmac vince and ai because of the full stats, but shaq won with a lesser player in your estmation in wade who played with a lesser shaq then kobe did makes no sense why couldnt shaq win the rings with those other 3 players at his peak with those guys even if they were lesser kobe?kobe was not dominant in 2 of the 3 finals avg 15.5 38% in 2000 and 01 26 ppg 40% they could do that as long as shaq plays his part 38 36 33.

i give a good observation just because i dont agree that kobe is all world doesnt mean i should not be given the same oppourtunity to voice my opion that people who do like kobe do it's unfair if i dont agree with you your going to delete my comment

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 9:12:00 PM, Blogger marcel said...

kobe bean bryant will be traded before next season i just read bill plashcke i live in california kobe wants out because he knows that the lakers will not make a major move in the offseason and hell be stuck on a bad team again it's 4 weeks later and he's still pist that nuthing has happened if you seen espnnews he's complaining that he wants to see changes he's frustrated continously been saying it this is the first time i seen kobe show outward frustration like this. they said that odom is not a trade commodity because his shoulder has gotten worse and kwame brown is not a trade commodity because his foot has gotten worse ouch, plascke said they should trade kobe get a great player and a couple good draft picks. kobe is the most entertaining player in sports or at least the nba he's not tiger woods or jordan he's like barry bonds great a notch below but stilll super great. plaschke said that kobe would never pubicly asked to be traded because la fans would never forgive him for that but he belives he's asking for a trade without pubicly do it. he knows the lakers are in a tough spot and cant do much but he's still insisting that they need to. kupchak said he would never trade kobe he said the same about shaq but if left no other choice he will stephen a smith belives kobe will ask for a trade next seaason if they have a similar seaso to this one. me personally as a lakers fan i think you trade him to chi get deng and nocioni or gordon and a first round pick to get a big man because kobe in the middle of his peak he's already as good as he gonna get deng and gordon and the pick could grow.

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 9:43:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous:

Take a look around this page and the comments pages to other posts. I hardly am in the habit of deleting commenters who disagree with me.

"Respect" means different things to different people. If you read Jackson's book or Lazenby's book, Tex Winter says that Shaq was more responsible for the breakdown in the relationship with Kobe than Kobe was. Shaq told Winter to "shut the f up" during a team meeting, shocking disrespect from a team leader toward the esteemed inventor of the Triangle Offense. Many people don't realize how much of a student of the game that Kobe is. He told me that Winter is like a "Yoda" to him; Bryant loves studying the game with Winter and tries to do the right thing. Kobe wants to win but he also has supreme confidence in his abilities, so if things are going badly he will always be tempted to try to take over the game, not to pump his stats but to try to win. What I am describing to you is the real Kobe Bryant that I have seen and heard with my own eyes and ears and as described by Jackson, Winter and other insiders. You are obviously a passionate fan but if you truly want to understand the game then you should admit that you don't know everything about Bryant or the NBA.

Shaq has won one title in three seasons with Wade and it required Wade having a tremendous Finals performance. That does not prove that anyone could have teamed with Shaq from 2000-2002 and survived the tough Western Conference, let alone win three straight titles. You are comparing apples and oranges. I said that there was no one in the NBA at that time who could have done what Kobe did in terms of scoring, passing and defense. Some of his Finals numbers are skewed by an ankle injury that limited his playing time and effectiveness. You also have neglected to mention the key game that Kobe led the team to victory over Indiana in overtime after Shaq fouled out. Many people wrote at that time that this game marked Bryant's arrival as a superstar in his own right.

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 9:54:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Marcel:

Kobe will be tough to trade because of his huge salary. Salaries have to match within 10% in NBA trades and there are few teams that will be willing or able to absorb Kobe's contract; that is a big reason why the sign and trade that sent Shaq to Miami did not return equal value to the Lakers.

I haven't read or heard the Plaschke report but I did see an ESPN.com item that said that Kobe demanded that the Lakers either give Jerry West full control over personnel matters or else trade Kobe. Kobe is frustrated beyond belief because the Lakers promised to build around him but have not delivered the goods in terms of surrounding him with a supporting cast that has a decent chance to win. West has been a mentor figure to Kobe for a long time, dating back to when Kobe wowed West during a predraft workout that West said was off the charts. That inspired West to trade Vlade Divac to obtain the pick that netted Bryant. That may seem like an easy decision in retrospect but at the time it was risky to trade an established starting center for a high school prospect. You probably won't believe this but I thought that the Lakers were making a mistake by giving up a proven player for a high school kid.

Anyway, Bryant has done his part the past three seasons since the Shaq deal and it is up to the Lakers to give him some help.

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 10:03:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

I just read the Plaschke article and would like to clarify something: Bryant denies asking to be traded but Plaschke says this is because Bryant does not want to be perceived as a villain. Plaschke says that Bryant knows that the Lakers cannot improve their roster anytime soon and is dropping hints that he wants to be traded. Plaschke does not think that Bryant is wrong for wanting to be traded.

ESPN's Ric Bucher is the one who reported that Kobe wants West to have full personnel control. I have yet to hear if Kobe has confirmed or denied that aspect of this story.

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 11:00:00 PM, Blogger marcel said...

clearly kobe wants to win kobe haters are saying whatever but if kobe didnt care about winning he wouldnt be doing this, asking for west or he would be happy with leading the league in scoring the last two years which clearly he is not. it be hard to trade him chicago is the team everybody is talking about you could give up deng and nocioni and first round 07 and o8 pick boston paul pierce no 5 pick, but you want it to be kobe pierce and jefferson so you would probably not give up pierce. send him to portland for zach randolph and first round pick 08, oden roy kobe championship next year. i dont know if west coming back will make them contenders immediately it's clear he is one of the greatest front office guys all time but can he turn this mess buss and kupchak made around quickly is the question.

 
At Sunday, May 27, 2007 11:16:00 PM, Blogger marcel said...

oh and i forgot the oden and durant factor portland will be a playoff team next year and seatlle might as well the lakers as presently constituted might not make the playoffs next year kobe sees this and says I WANT OUT

 
At Monday, May 28, 2007 12:24:00 PM, Anonymous Lakers Fan said...

Kevin (Anonymous) -

I want to respond to many of the things you said in your post so you'll see quotes from post as well as my response.


You said "the reason they won the championships was because of shaq there defense was great but not just because of kobe because they had a big dude like shaq in the middle"

We agree, they need Shaq and Kobe to win the championships. They couldn't have won without either.

"iverson led the league in steals 4 times he played no defense yeah?"

Steals are not a measure of the quality of defense you play. Being voted to the All-Defensive team is a better measure. Kobe 7, Iverson 0 (ZERO). I went and looked at your favorite stat site and noticed that Allen Iverson and Smush Parker have about the same number of steals per game the past 2 seasons. Smush's defense is about where I put Iverson. (Do you want to argue that Smush is a great defender too?) Good defense is not measured solely by steals. It is measured by how well you stop or slow down the guy you are matched up against, help out your teammates (i.e. double teams, rotations, etc), get back in transition ...

"some people thought t mac and vince was better than kobe and numbers were on par."

As far as scoring goes, T-Mac and Vince were on par with Kobe. No argument from me there. However, there is more than scoring to basketball. There is also DEFENSE, passing, running an offense, as well as many other intangible factors.

As I stated before, Kobe was a facilitator in the triangle offense the 3 years they won the championship. This means he played the "Pippen" role in the triangle. He ran the offense. This a big reason why he led the team in assists. You falsely classify Kobe as a scorer only so you think he is easily interchangeable with other great scorers, i.e. T-Mac, Vince and AI. (By the way, I have nothing against those players, I think they are all great but they are not Kobe)

"once again wade won with a way less shaq than kobe did those players were at there peak"

I am with David here. Are you seriously comaparing the east of last year with the west of 2000-2002? Do you really think the Heat of last year was better than Sacramento or San Antonio in some of those years? Also, you fail to recognize that Shaq's back-up center is a future hall of fame center, Alonzo Mourning. Mourning would have been a starting center on more than half the NBA teams last year. I would have loved to have his 20+ mins a game on the Lakers last year. Mourning against Diaw in the first round would have been a laugher, the Lakers might have swept the Suns.

"and the lakers wouldnt win with nash but they wouldnt win with kobe if amare and diaw didnt play in game 5 this year either or he didnt play the whole season last year like amare didnt so kobe aint gonna win the ring either with them."

I think this statement pretty much sums up the all of the arguments you have made in each of your posts. You state many opinions with nothing to back them up.

First of all, the season and the seedings would have been different with Kobe and Nash flip-flopped. Even if the seedings were the same the series would have played out differently. But I think the hypothethical you are posing is whether Kobe can pick up the slack for Amare and Diaw being out against the Spurs better than Nash did in Game 5. With Kobe being a more complete player, I like their chances better than with Nash as I stated before. (For others reading this post, I still don't think Kobe and Nash are completely interchangable, a big part of the reason I am able to make my argument is because Barbosa is Nash's back-up.)

 
At Monday, May 28, 2007 12:41:00 PM, Anonymous Lakers Fan said...

Marcel -

You need to read Mike Bresnahan's articles. He is the one who actually spoke to Kobe not Plaschke.

I think TJ Simers says it best, here is an excerpt from his article.

"By the way, has Plaschke completely lost it?

Take away the Kobester, and it's a Sparks game with the upper level closed off. The Kobester, happy or unhappy, isn't going anywhere.
Plaschke is assuming Kobe wants to be traded when Kobe didn't come out and explicitly say that what he wants is Jerry West. "

Here are some important parts of the one of the Bresnahan articles ....

" Bryant said he did not link his future with the Lakers to the hiring of West, as ESPN.com reported Sunday. He has not asked for a trade and did not foresee seeking one if West was not hired.

"I would love for him to be a part of this," Bryant said. "But it's not something where I demand he comes here. All I can do is offer my thoughts. I love being a Laker. I want to retire a Laker. I want to fix this thing, or at least help any way I can." "

Kobe is not going anywhere .. here is more ...

"Jim Buss, the team's vice president of player personnel, recently told The Times he feels that, quite simply, "Kobe Bryant is a Laker for life." "

Personally, I think Kobe wants Jerry West because he is the guy who pursuaded Shaq to come to LA in 1996 and he is the guy who can persuade KG to opt out of his contract after next year and come to LA as well. Jerry West came make those big things happen.

I will refrain from commenting on the trades that you and Plaschke suggest as I think neither of them give the Lakers enough in return for the both the most exciting and best player in the NBA.

 
At Monday, May 28, 2007 3:53:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Two very interesting and well thought out comments, Lakers Fan. Your first item speaks for itself. As for the second one, the unsubstantiated nature of all of this new information about Kobe and whether or not he asked to be traded is why I have not yet written a full post about this. I'd like to have some more solid information about what Kobe in fact said before I start commenting or speculating. Thank you for providing the additional quotes from Bresnahan and Simers. My initial impression is the same as yours, namely that Kobe is not going to be traded.

 
At Monday, May 28, 2007 4:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no doubt shaq cant win a championship by himself my whole thing was theres a diffrence from being the one option and the 2 option on a team shaq was the bigest reason they won not the only but the biggest cleary kobe played a vital part.

but to compare kobe to micheal jordan or larry bird magic johnson level is wrong because they were the leaders of they team he was not. saying he won as many titles as bird is true in a sense but bird was the best player on his team kobe was not so bird get's more respect from everybody for that. bird played 13 seasons kobe played 11 both got 3 rings but if you ask anybody to compare the rings the first thing anybody will say bird led his team kobe did not.

as far as iverson defense he plays the passing lanes kobe a lock down 2 diffrent type of defenders kobe better defender than iverson. larry bird never made the all defensive team he still won championships a 24-26 year old iverson and 28-30 year shaq could win 3 rings iverson got a team to the finals with dikembe mutumbo as his center and if kobe could fit in the triangle iverson could as well.


as far as tmac and vince tmac avg 25ppg 5ass and 5reb in 01-02 same as kobe like i said so whats your point kobe ran what offense? the offense ran through shaq. kobe is the best one on one player ever thats how he got most his points not through the triangle.


this is the funniest the tough spurs won 1 game in 2 years against the lakers in 2000-2002 agianst sacramento what did kobe win for them game 7 in overtime was all shaq as well as through the series kobe bryant got his 30 points a game but go ask chris webber or anyone on sac why they lost and sac was not a great team they won 61 games but there like dallas now mentally weak why they airballed 3 pointers and missed freethrows.

miami beat the dallas mavericks who was better than the 02 spurs and the 02 kings. you guys are thinking today not when im talking about im talking about 2000-2002 t mac ai vince could win with shaq at his peak, wade won with a shaq that got 6 and 12 in 2 finals games last year. the shaq those 3 years was avg 38 33 36 his peak iverson tmac and vince was at they peak iverson avg 31 that year 5 and 5 t mac 25 5 5 and i dont know vince nubers ill get back with those but i know with certainty they could win with that shaq repeat that shaq.

haha you blame me for hypothetical steve nash got the team 62 wins this year dallas won 67 there not going to win 70 games with kobe all of a sudden. so there going to have the same seed which means theyll lose if they dont have stoudamire a full year like nash didnt last year if they dont have stoudamire this year in game 5 theyll lose as well. steve nash is a perfect player for that system kobe is a perfect player for his system nash cant score like kobe cant get the ball to players like nash does. shawn marion was at his best with kidd or nash so is amare they play better with a point like nash or kidd.

 
At Friday, August 16, 2013 9:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may want to consider writing a “making your teammates better” post for Lebron James.

Shaq went from an All-Star (MVP) in Pho. with Nash (2009) to “Bad Fit” in Cle. with James (2010). Bosh went from 24/11 in Tor. to 16/6 in Mia. Wade’s scoring and shooting percentage have dropped each year. Allen had his career low in scoring and 5-year low in shooting percentage. I’m certain you could make a laundry list...

 

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