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hotpotato1092
04-16-2011, 02:46 PM
Personally, I look at Kobe Bryant's career as three separate era's:

The first three titles Kobe: Athletically, nobody in the NBA compared. Could drop 50 at any time, was a lock down defender when he wanted to be, and really had no true weaknesses to his game. He didn't have quite the bag of tricks that he does today, but he could still score in a variety of ways and when worse came to worse, he could just rely on his athleticism to get him to the basket. His reputation as a closer hadn't quite gotten to where it is now, but he was still great at getting buckets when they were needed. He was an immature kid, clearly not a great teammate, but at this point he wasn't so big of a problem that you couldn't win with him.

The post-Shaq, pre-Pau Kobe: In terms of individual ability, you could argue that this Kobe was on par with MJ. He scored over 35 points per game one season, his athleticism was still there and his skill and smarts had jumped to a whole new level from the early years. His defense became more consistent, he could shut down almost anyone when he needed to. This was the time when his status as the league's best closer was cemented. But as a teammate, he was terrible. He jacked up too many shots, nobody enjoyed playing with him, and he routinely bashed teammates. This may however, have been due to the lackluster players that were put around him, you could argue that if he were in a situation like he is now that none of that would have happened.

The current Kobe: His athletic ability is dwindling, but in every other area he's better than ever. Nobody can score as many ways as him, he's a wily veteran with a suitcase full of tricks. He's clearly at this point the league's best closer, there is nobody you'd rather give the ball to at the end of games (regardless of what stats say, when you watch with your eyes this is apparent). He's progressed as a passer to the point where you can trust him to get his teammates involved. Defensively, he picks his spots. On one possession he can still shut down almost anyone, but he rarely goes all out for a full night defensively. As a teammate this is the best Kobe. He's a great leader and his teammates respect him. He knows how to keep his teammates involved for the first 42 minutes and then take over for the last 6. For those of you who read Bill Simmons' Book of Basketball, this Kobe gets the secret.

So my question for all of you is this: You have to win one playoff game. The other eleven teammates are the same. The coach is the same. The only variable is which Kobe you're taking. So, which Kobe are you taking?

210Don
04-16-2011, 02:49 PM
post shaq pre pau was amazing.............. i never seen a player dominate like that...

PhillyFaninLA
04-16-2011, 02:56 PM
Always should have an other option.

I'd take a pre-parental coitus Kobe. This is the only Kobe Bryant that makes humanity better, sure it may make the NBA a little worse but it makes humanity quite a bit better.

LakersIn5
04-16-2011, 03:02 PM
mr.81

GREATNESS ONE
04-16-2011, 03:05 PM
wow great write dude. I feel so blessed to have been able to watch this mans career and never miss a game. Awesome!

To answer the question, I would give this Kobe young Kobe legs:p

PrettyBoyJ
04-16-2011, 03:10 PM
Post Shaq Pre Pau.. Nobody in the league was better around that time

hotpotato1092
04-16-2011, 03:11 PM
Btw my answer was the first version. I thought about it long and hard, but ultimately decided that I wanted a Kobe who could go all out for 48 minutes if necessary (remember game 7 of the Kings series and how he played all but 51 seconds or something?). I still trust him to make the big shots when I need them, and I wanted the threat of him going off for 50 or 60 to be more viable. Most of all I wanted him to be on his game defensively the whole time. You could say any of these things about version two also, but I couldn't risk Kobe either going into ball hog mode (which is ok when he's making his shots, but on an off night it could get ugly) or going into prove a point mode (remember how he refused to shoot in game 7 against Phoenix?) You can't go wrong with any of the three though.

Young and Stupid
04-16-2011, 03:15 PM
Great thread. I'm taking post-Shaq Kobe. Yes, current-Kobe is a better teammate, a slightly smarter player and a better leader, but he's also not as good as post-Shaq Kobe because his body has given out on him.

I look at Kobe's Career in an interesting breakdown of 'mind' vs. 'body.' Obviously, I'm oversimplifying the two terms, but the mind encompasses his personality, mindset, basketball-IQ (I've included some of his skill-level -- specifically, his improved post-game -- in this category), leadership ability and his quality as a teammate; whereas his body comprises his athleticism, his skill-level (as opposed to the skill-level I outlined in the mind, it pertains more to the raw skills involved with basketball), and his health.

These grades range from one to ten:
First Three Titles Kobe - Mind = 5, Body = 9; Total = 14
Post-Shaq Kobe - Mind = 7, Body = 10; Total = 17
Current Kobe - Mind = 10, Body = 5; Total = 15

Like I said, it's an oversimplified way to breakdown his career, but I think it's sufficient for the purpose of the discussion. These rough grades matchup with my selection of "Post-Shaq Kobe."

Like Bill Simmons said earlier this week, Kobe is entering that dangerous zone where his confidence is superior to his skill-level -- the Kings game was reminiscent of it. The evolution of Kobe Bryant's career is an extremely interesting topic; I think when it's all said and done, we'll see it covered in multiple forms (books, documentaries, films, etc.)

Another good thread, Potato. If I were you, I'd go to U of Miami, but if you get into UMich you should definitely attend.

Side-note: Best Kobe Mix on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFZZwM1NSWI)

KingPosey
04-16-2011, 03:39 PM
post shaq pre pau was amazing.............. i HAVE never seen a player dominate like that...

You must be pretty young huh?

And I have watched them both play, KB was never "on par" with MJ, not when he scored 35 PPG, not ever. Jordan was just much more efficient. Phil Jackson has even flat out said KB isnt quite MJ. He has dominated like no one since MJ, but he just isnt equal to the best player ever.

KingPosey
04-16-2011, 03:43 PM
Always should have an other option.

I'd take a pre-parental coitus Kobe. This is the only Kobe Bryant that makes humanity better, sure it may make the NBA a little worse but it makes humanity quite a bit better.

.......ok?:badidea:

Supreme LA
04-16-2011, 04:28 PM
You must be pretty young huh?

And I have watched them both play, KB was never "on par" with MJ, not when he scored 35 PPG, not ever. Jordan was just much more efficient. Phil Jackson has even flat out said KB isnt quite MJ. He has dominated like no one since MJ, but he just isnt equal to the best player ever.

Well, I'm not that young and I've watched both players during their time. I don't think the guy was saying anything about Kobe being better than MJ. He said he had never seen a player "dominate" like that and it's true. The post Shaq Kobe had unlimited range (better range than MJ according to Phil as well), possessed better ball handling skills, and basically caught fire every night from the perimeter. I had never seen a player hit more difficult and contested shots consistently from anyone like that.

Kobe isn't better than MJ and MJ was extremely more efficient. Kobe just dominated in his own unique way because he lacked some of the athletic ability that MJ possessed. He made up for it with his fundamental skills.

KnicksorBust
04-16-2011, 04:49 PM
Give me Kobe in his absolute prime. Post Shaq and Pre-Gasol. He dragged that pile of doo-doo with Kwame-Cook-Smush-Mihm to what like 47 wins? If the year Shaq was traded to Miami, you added Pau Gasol in his place. There never would have been that drought in LA.

Teeboy1487
04-16-2011, 05:13 PM
Post Shaq and Pre Pau version of Kobe was clearly Kobe in his prime. I would take Prime Kobe 10/10.

smith&wesson
04-16-2011, 05:21 PM
ill take the kobe that took 81.

if i was kobe id change my number to 81 in my final season and retire with it.

Purple&Gold24
04-16-2011, 05:26 PM
How much for all three of them? :)

NYKalltheway
04-16-2011, 05:27 PM
the mature one

Idontcare
04-16-2011, 05:40 PM
You must be pretty young huh?

And I have watched them both play, KB was never "on par" with MJ, not when he scored 35 PPG, not ever. Jordan was just much more efficient. Phil Jackson has even flat out said KB isnt quite MJ. He has dominated like no one since MJ, but he just isnt equal to the best player ever.

Dude that season he was on par with MJ he scored 81 pts 62 10+ 50 point games and like 30+ 40 point games that was an MJ type season! He was robbed of that MVP no doubt about it!

Btw I'm taking post shaq pre pau era he was just a beast those years nobody compared it was
Kobe





Everyone else

_KB24_
04-16-2011, 05:44 PM
If its an entire season, I'd take baby Kobe along with Shaq. It was some of the most exciting basketball I've ever seen and the greatest tandem I've ever seen in basketball.

If it was a series, it would definitely be the current Kobe. He has matured so much and knows how to pick his poison. Has mastered the game.

If it was for a SINGLE game like it was said in the OP, I would take the post-Shaq-pre-Gasol Kobe over any other player not named Jordan to win me one game. No one could take over a single game like these two in so many different ways.

210Don
04-16-2011, 05:50 PM
Well, I'm not that young and I've watched both players during their time. I don't think the guy was saying anything about Kobe being better than MJ. He said he had never seen a player "dominate" like that and it's true. The post Shaq Kobe had unlimited range (better range than MJ according to Phil as well), possessed better ball handling skills, and basically caught fire every night from the perimeter. I had never seen a player hit more difficult and contested shots consistently from anyone like that.

Kobe isn't better than MJ and MJ was extremely more efficient. Kobe just dominated in his own unique way because he lacked some of the athletic ability that MJ possessed. He made up for it with his fundamental skills.

+1



no one was talking about mj... hes goat.

Idontcare
04-16-2011, 05:51 PM
If its an entire season, I'd take baby Kobe along with Shaq. It was some of the most exciting basketball I've ever seen and the greatest tandem I've ever seen in basketball.

If it was a series, it would definitely be the current Kobe. He has matured so much and knows how to pick his poison. Has mastered the game.

If it was for a SINGLE game like it was said in the OP, I would take the post-Shaq-pre-Gasol Kobe over any other player not named Jordan to win me one game. No one could take over a single game like these two in so many different ways.

:clap:

Bruno
04-16-2011, 06:17 PM
You must be pretty young huh?

And I have watched them both play, KB was never "on par" with MJ, not when he scored 35 PPG, not ever. Jordan was just much more efficient. Phil Jackson has even flat out said KB isnt quite MJ. He has dominated like no one since MJ, but he just isnt equal to the best player ever.

When you isolate Jordans 86-87 campaign (MVP) and Bryants '05-'06 campaign they are very similar; slight edge to Jordan. I isolate these two years because they were each players peak year regarding ppg. When adjusted for pace, Jordans '87 campaign and Bryants '06 campaign are the greatest individual scoring years by any player ever, along with Wilts '62 campaign.

MJ, 86-87:
PPG: 37.1
TS%: .562
FG%: 48.2%
FTA: 11.9
PER: 29.8
WS: 16.9
WS/48: 0.247
USG%: 38.3%
http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jordami01.html


Bryant, 05-06:
PPG: 35.4
TS%: .559
FG%: 45%
FTA: 10.2
PER: 28.0
WS: 15.3
WS/48: 0.224
USG%: 38.7%

1987 NBA Pace (league average): 100.8
http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_1987.html
1987 Chicago Bulls Pace: 95.8
http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/CHI/1987.html

2006 NBA Pace (league average): 90.5
http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2006.html
2006 L.A. Lakers Pace: 90.9
http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/LAL/2006.html
*Notice the discrepancy in pace.
*In '06 the league average ppg was 97.0.
*In '87 the leave average ppg was 109.9
*The '87 Bulls averaged 103.9 ppg.
*The '06 Lakers averaged 96.9 ppg.

Again, slight edge to Jordan in every category. But Bryants '06 campaign is one of the greatest scoring campaigns, when adjusted for pace . When you interpret those stats, it suggests that Bryant points carried just as much weight as MJs (stat aficionados, am I wrong on this? I don't have the tools to calculate it exactly).

Rather than knocking the other poster for "being pretty young" lets acknowledge that Bryants '06 campaign was one for the ages. It shouldn't be a surprise that it is the greatest scoring campaign a lot of younger NBA fans have ever seen. How many people on this forum were old enough to remember 1987? Not many.


To answer the question of the OP. I'll take a healthy Gasol era Bryant. See that 2009 playoffs as to why:
PER: 26.8
WS/48: 0.238
TS%: .564
PPG: 30.2
RPG: 5.3
APG: 5.5
SPG: 1.7
*Became the 4th player in NBA history to drop 40-8-8 in an NBA finals game (along with MJ. Shaq and West).
http://thelakersnation.com/blog/2009/06/05/kobe-makes-finals-history-4088/
http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bryanko01.html

Clear-cut "top-dog" with a dominant showing on the way to the title. Easy decision for me.

thekmp211
04-16-2011, 06:26 PM
post shaq pre pau, easily. prime of his career. had he had his current, or former, team during that stretch who knows what would have happened. he was the most dominant wing in the league by a fair margin, and this was when t-mac was destroying people, as well.

GREATNESS ONE
04-16-2011, 06:35 PM
When you isolate Jordans 86-87 campaign (MVP) and Bryants '05-'06 campaign they are very similar; slight edge to Jordan. I isolate these two years because they were each players peak year regarding ppg. When adjusted for pace, Jordans '87 campaign and Bryants '06 campaign are the greatest individual scoring years by any player ever, along with Wilts '62 campaign.

MJ, 86-87:
PPG: 37.1
TS%: .562
FG%: 48.2%
FTA: 11.9
PER: 29.8
WS: 16.9
WS/48: 0.247
USG%: 38.3%
http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jordami01.html


Bryant, 05-06:
PPG: 35.4
TS%: .559
FG%: 45%
FTA: 10.2
PER: 28.0
WS: 15.3
WS/48: 0.224
USG%: 38.7%

1987 NBA Pace (league average): 100.8
http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_1987.html
1987 Chicago Bulls Pace: 95.8
http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/CHI/1987.html

2006 NBA Pace (league average): 90.5
http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2006.html
2006 L.A. Lakers Pace: 90.9
http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/LAL/2006.html
*Notice the discrepancy in pace.
*In '06 the league average ppg was 97.0.
*In '87 the leave average ppg was 109.9
*The '87 Bulls averaged 103.9 ppg.
*The '06 Lakers averaged 96.9 ppg.

Again, slight edge to Jordan in every category. But Bryants '06 campaign is one of the greatest scoring campaigns, when adjusted for pace . When you interpret those stats, it suggests that Bryant points carried just as much weight as MJs (stat aficionados, am I wrong on this? I don't have the tools to calculate it exactly).

Rather than knocking the other poster for "being pretty young" lets acknowledge that Bryants '06 campaign was one for the ages. It shouldn't be a surprise that it is the greatest scoring campaign a lot of younger NBA fans have ever seen. How many people on this forum were old enough to remember 1987? Not many.


To answer the question of the OP. I'll take a healthy Gasol era Bryant. See that 2009 playoffs as to why:
PER: 26.8
WS/48: 0.238
TS%: .564
PPG: 30.2
RPG: 5.3
APG: 5.5
SPG: 1.7
*Became the 4th player in NBA history to drop 40-8-8 in an NBA finals game (along with MJ. Shaq and West).
http://thelakersnation.com/blog/2009/06/05/kobe-makes-finals-history-4088/
http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bryanko01.html

Clear-cut "top-dog" with a dominant showing on the way to the title. Easy decision for me.

Excellent ! I'm lucky enough to have seen both these historic players play, pure Greatness.

championships
04-16-2011, 06:37 PM
I take post Shaq Pre Pau Kobe and surround him with better players then he had back then.

5ass
04-16-2011, 06:43 PM
this thread reminds me of this video lol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5gRn8PEkQI

MiamiWadeCounty
04-16-2011, 07:12 PM
The Post-Shaq, Pre-Pau was when he was most dominant. While he did not win a ring, he could single-handedly beat any team in the league. Without knowing his teammates, you have to go with him then because he was most dominant in this era.

AIRMAR72
04-16-2011, 07:51 PM
i go with 05 AND the kobe in lastyr playoffs the best ive seen kobe played in any playoff games in his career but some you guys dont remember that there was iverson, mcgrady, carter and dirk.and others who out shine kobe time to time kobe is the best post -up winning SG since jordan but to say hes the best of this generation i think yall disrespecting the other guys who played against him kobe NEVER DOMINATED the GAME like jordan i DONT care what kobe stats read he NEVER face THE COMP OR DID LIKE mj..PERIOD!!!

bholly
04-16-2011, 08:00 PM
I voted current, but I meant early in the Gasol era, when he'd learned to control the game in other ways than volume shooting, and to trust his teammates, but was still a little closer to his physical prime than he is now.

Bruno
04-16-2011, 08:10 PM
i go with 05 AND the kobe in lastyr playoffs the best ive seen kobe played in any playoff games in his career but some you guys dont remember that there was iverson, mcgrady, carter and dirk.and others who out shine kobe time to time kobe is the best post -up winning SG since jordan but to say hes the best of this generation i think yall disrespecting the other guys who played against him kobe NEVER DOMINATED the GAME like jordan i DONT care what kobe stats read he NEVER face THE COMP OR DID LIKE mj..PERIOD!!!

Another famous NBA myth. Get back at me if you want to see the breakdown on that.

PhillyFaninLA
04-16-2011, 08:22 PM
the mature one


You not mature and your not an adult you talk the way he does and think the way he does that leads to that $100,000 fine. Bigots aren't mature.

But he is 2nd or 3rd best player in the league.

dtmagnet
04-16-2011, 08:36 PM
Can you have the Kobe that scored 81 and have him do it every night? If so I'd pick that one.