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View Full Version : How would Kobe have fit in the Pop/Duncan system?



JasonJohnHorn
07-02-2014, 08:56 PM
I read West's autobiography and Shaq's as well, and both mentioned the tension teammates had with Kobe (Shaq's especially). Kobe was VERY trigger happy in the early days, even when Phil Jackson arrived.

With 10 championships between them, it is tempting to imagine how Duncan and Bryant would have performed WITH each other instead of against each other. Had the Spurs somehow managed to secure Bryant in the draft, how do you think the relationship with Pop/Duncan would have turned out with Kobe in the mix? I know a lot of people say Kobe ran Shaq out of town, and Kobe has always been a guy that wants to dominate the ball, which is in contrast to Pop's system.

Do you think Kobe would have adopted stylistically? Or do you think the Spurs would have ended up trading him for more complimentary assets? Or would Duncan and/or Pop been on the way out instead?

There is no doubt that the two would have won more than 5 rings each if they played together for their entire careers, but would they have had chemistry considering their divergent styles?

jaydubb
07-02-2014, 09:10 PM
I think Duncan is one of the few that would mesh well with Kobe.

As far as fitting the poppovich system, he's such a good coach that he could adjust to bring the best out of any player. I really don't think he'd allow Kobe to chuck up 30 shots a game tho..

beasted86
07-02-2014, 09:11 PM
He wouldn't exist. He would have been traded or let go a long time ago.

Pop dumped Dennis Rodman for Will Purdue. He let Stephen Jackson walk for nothing. He let Hedo Turkoglu walk for nothing. I'm not taking shots at Pop, because he has a certain way he builds his teams, and it works, especially within the owner's budget. But he cannot get every player to respond and fit his system, if anything, that's his one flaw.

3ballbomber
07-02-2014, 09:17 PM
"they got over themselves a long time ago" - Pop

Pertaining to Duncan, Parker & Manu. I think this answers your question. The Spurs thrives on team basketball not the individual. It's hard to assume what sort of player Kobe would have been under Pop. Would they have clashed & Kobe ended up demanding a trade? or would Kobe sacrifice his game for the betterment of the team. One thing for sure is Kobe is the closest we had of Jordan (even Jordan said that himself) & Kobe thrived the way he played in LA. Just as much as Spurs thrived on approaching the game minus the star mentality. Who knows Duncan & Kobe could have clashed the way Kobe & Shaq did - it's a very likely scenario.

Jamiecballer
07-02-2014, 09:18 PM
He wouldn't. Kobe doesn't fit with the kind of players Popovic covets. He would likely have been traded and become a HOF elsewhere.

Jamiecballer
07-02-2014, 09:20 PM
He wouldn't exist. He would have been traded or let go a long time ago.

Pop dumped Dennis Rodman for Will Purdue. He let Stephen Jackson walk for nothing. He let Hedo Turkoglu walk for nothing. I'm not taking shots at Pop, because he has a certain way he builds his teams, and it works, especially within the owner's budget. But he cannot get every player to respond and fit his system, if anything, that's his one flaw.
His one flaw is not wasting time on people with ego's and thriving anyways? That's a helluva flaw if you ask me.

ILLUSIONIST^248
07-02-2014, 09:25 PM
I read West's autobiography and Shaq's as well, and both mentioned the tension teammates had with Kobe (Shaq's especially). Kobe was VERY trigger happy in the early days, even when Phil Jackson arrived.

With 10 championships between them, it is tempting to imagine how Duncan and Bryant would have performed WITH each other instead of against each other. Had the Spurs somehow managed to secure Bryant in the draft, how do you think the relationship with Pop/Duncan would have turned out with Kobe in the mix? I know a lot of people say Kobe ran Shaq out of town, and Kobe has always been a guy that wants to dominate the ball, which is in contrast to Pop's system.

Do you think Kobe would have adopted stylistically? Or do you think the Spurs would have ended up trading him for more complimentary assets? Or would Duncan and/or Pop been on the way out instead?

There is no doubt that the two would have won more than 5 rings each if they played together for their entire careers, but would they have had chemistry considering their divergent styles? There's no doubt in my mind Kobe and Duncan would have been better than Kobe and Shaq. Kobe's always needed a player like Duncan. Shaq and Kobe's style was deadly but they always got in the way of each other. As you can see they weren't compatible past a certain amount of years.

3ballbomber
07-02-2014, 09:28 PM
His one flaw is not wasting time on people with ego's and thriving anyways? That's a helluva flaw if you ask me.
a flaw most coaches should be plagued with

Tony_Starks
07-02-2014, 09:37 PM
He would've basically been Ginobli on steroids. Would've made made some stupid plays that drove Pop crazy, then in the same games do something ridiculous to win the game. Plus he plays defense which is what keeps you on the floor with Pop.

As far as him and Timmy that would've been unstoppable. They're both cut from the same cloth of strictly basketball, no nonsense. Also being a humble dude, unlike Shaq, Duncan was more than willing to take a backseat to younger talent as they surpassed him and he started to decline.

beasted86
07-02-2014, 09:40 PM
His one flaw is not wasting time on people with ego's and thriving anyways? That's a helluva flaw if you ask me.
Yes, its a flaw if a coach can't get certain players to respond.

The purest of pure coaches feels like you can give him ANY group of players, and he can get them all to buy in and follow his lead, and his system will have them maximize or exceed their talents. With Pop, he can't be bothered take any group of guys, wouldn't waste the effort. That's why when people say he would instantly make every team better.... um, not after more than a couple roster moves.

NBA_Starter
07-02-2014, 09:41 PM
He wouldn't have, just the thought of it probably makes Pop want to retire.

Tony_Starks
07-02-2014, 09:45 PM
He wouldn't exist. He would have been traded or let go a long time ago.

Pop dumped Dennis Rodman for Will Purdue. He let Stephen Jackson walk for nothing. He let Hedo Turkoglu walk for nothing. I'm not taking shots at Pop, because he has a certain way he builds his teams, and it works, especially within the owner's budget. But he cannot get every player to respond and fit his system, if anything, that's his one flaw.

With all due respect Kobe shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as those guys. The only thing he has in common with them is they all played in the NBA.....

ink
07-02-2014, 09:52 PM
a flaw most coaches should be plagued with

It would improve the game league-wide.

Shlumpledink
07-02-2014, 09:52 PM
How silly some people are, they may say Kobe wouldn't adhere to a system, or that Pop would lose patience. Popovic coached Manu Ginobilli. Do you guys remember his younger days? He played like a crazy person. Manu regularly deviated from the system and made very risky plays. Pop said Ginobilli makes him age faster.

I can only imagine what Kobe's development would be like alongside a Tim Duncan rather than a Shaquille "feed the big dog if you want him to guard the yard" O'Neal. Tim Duncan is the greatest system big man of all time, and Kobe could ease into the role like Ginobilli did, except Kobe is much better than Manu.

I don't know how great the system would complement kobe's game, I think the triangle is best suited for both players honestly. If they had high quality shooters that would be great.

People forget that Kobe earned himself a great defensive reputation, and Ginobilli has been known as a gambler on defense. Prime Kobe was elite at ball denial, and a strong man defender who would gamble on occasion. If they throw out should've-been DPotY Bruce Bowen alongside, they could have an even better defensive team.

Now he's crap ball denial, decent man defender who floats around, not that the Lakers play a rigid defensive scheme though.

They definitely would have been a better combo, they're both basketball sponges.

ink
07-02-2014, 09:53 PM
With all due respect Kobe shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as those guys. The only thing he has in common with them is they all played in the NBA.....

I don't think his comparison was to talent level, it was more likely to do with stubborness and self-centredness.

TheNumber37
07-02-2014, 09:56 PM
I'm pretty sure if he had Duncan, he would have traded Kobe for KG or Jason Kidd or someone like that

kdspurman
07-02-2014, 09:57 PM
His one flaw is not wasting time on people with ego's and thriving anyways? That's a helluva flaw if you ask me.

lol, seriously. He likes to bring that up and make it seem like Pop can't handle certain types of guys. He wasn't even the HC when Rodman got the boot. And Stephen Jackson became a locker room cancer. He didn't think he should play behind certain guys and it caused friction in the locker room. (he left after their 03 run, in which he was obviously coachable by Pop and instrumental that title because he wanted more $, more power to him) An organization who would keep a player like that in their locker room is foolish. Look at what happened to Indy this year. Absolutely fell apart in that locker room.

Oh and Turk? Really?

But yea... Helluva a flaw to maintain order in your locker room.

ink
07-02-2014, 09:57 PM
Yes, its a flaw if a coach can't get certain players to respond.

The purest of pure coaches feels like you can give him ANY group of players, and he can get them all to buy in and follow his lead, and his system will have them maximize or exceed their talents. With Pop, he can't be bothered take any group of guys, wouldn't waste the effort. That's why when people say he would instantly make every team better.... um, not after more than a couple roster moves.

I don't even think the belief that a good coach makes every team better is worthy of thinking about. That's not how it works. Remember, Pops was assistant coach on the bronze medal winning 2004 USA Olympic team. That team was notoriously uncoachable. Pops hand picks his players to fit within what he believes is the best basketball system. He'd likely tailor any team to work with the talents of the players he has but he wouldn't suddenly embrace hero ball just because he had a hero baller.

ink
07-02-2014, 10:00 PM
lol, seriously. He likes to bring that up and make it seem like Pop can't handle certain types of guys. He wasn't even the HC when Rodman got the boot. And Stephen Jackson became a locker room cancer. He didn't think he should play behind certain guys and it caused friction in the locker room. (he left after their 03 run, in which he was obviously coachable by Pop and instrumental that title because he wanted more $, more power to him) An organization who would keep a player like that in their locker room is foolish. Look at what happened to Indy this year. Absolutely fell apart in that locker room.

Oh and Turk? Really?

But yea... Helluva a flaw to maintain order in your locker room.

I don't think it was meant as a criticism of Pops. More a statement that he wouldn't tolerate egocentric players.

bucketss
07-02-2014, 10:02 PM
pop would have eventually been fired imo.

amos1er
07-02-2014, 10:05 PM
Both Kobe and Duncan would have more rings.

kdspurman
07-02-2014, 10:09 PM
I don't think it was meant as a criticism of Pops. More a statement that he wouldn't tolerate egocentric players.

I only say that cause Beasted has said it as a criticism of Pop several times before. Saying things like if Pop was so great, he would be able to coach any kind of player and what not.

Tony_Starks
07-02-2014, 10:19 PM
How silly some people are, they may say Kobe wouldn't adhere to a system, or that Pop would lose patience. Popovic coached Manu Ginobilli. Do you guys remember his younger days? He played like a crazy person. Manu regularly deviated from the system and made very risky plays. Pop said Ginobilli makes him age faster.

I can only imagine what Kobe's development would be like alongside a Tim Duncan rather than a Shaquille "feed the big dog if you want him to guard the yard" O'Neal. Tim Duncan is the greatest system big man of all time, and Kobe could ease into the role like Ginobilli did, except Kobe is much better than Manu.

I don't know how great the system would complement kobe's game, I think the triangle is best suited for both players honestly. If they had high quality shooters that would be great.

People forget that Kobe earned himself a great defensive reputation, and Ginobilli has been known as a gambler on defense. Prime Kobe was elite at ball denial, and a strong man defender who would gamble on occasion. If they throw out should've-been DPotY Bruce Bowen alongside, they could have an even better defensive team.

Now he's crap ball denial, decent man defender who floats around, not that the Lakers play a rigid defensive scheme though.

They definitely would have been a better combo, they're both basketball sponges.

This exactly.

AIRMAR72
07-02-2014, 10:23 PM
he wouldn't exist. He would have been traded or let go a long time ago.

Pop dumped dennis rodman for will purdue. He let stephen jackson walk for nothing. He let hedo turkoglu walk for nothing. I'm not taking shots at pop, because he has a certain way he builds his teams, and it works, especially within the owner's budget. But he cannot get every player to respond and fit his system, if anything, that's his one flaw.correct

jerellh528
07-02-2014, 10:25 PM
Kobe's skill level would've forced pop to make it work. He's a good enough coach to use Kobe's vast skills to the max, probably more so than pjax. I don't care who the head coach is, when you have a once in a generation player like Kobe, you find a way. Duncan would've been the perfect complimentary piece to Kobe, he's mature. Not a massive ego goofball like shaq and Howard. The thing that pop Kobe and Duncan all have in common more than anyone is, they love winning championship.

Hotone1401
07-02-2014, 10:28 PM
Well it shouldn't be a question if he could. It's clear Kobe would have developed into a different player under Pop. I think they would be successful.

Hotone1401
07-02-2014, 10:30 PM
pop would have eventually been fired imo.

For?

I swear it's like your in every Kobe related thread.

Greedy22
07-02-2014, 10:30 PM
I think those 2 would have been excellent. The most skilled big man and guard as a duo? Would make the kobe/pau duo look weak.

ink
07-02-2014, 10:40 PM
How silly some people are, they may say Kobe wouldn't adhere to a system, or that Pop would lose patience. Popovic coached Manu Ginobilli. Do you guys remember his younger days? He played like a crazy person. Manu regularly deviated from the system and made very risky plays. Pop said Ginobilli makes him age faster.

I can only imagine what Kobe's development would be like alongside a Tim Duncan rather than a Shaquille "feed the big dog if you want him to guard the yard" O'Neal. Tim Duncan is the greatest system big man of all time, and Kobe could ease into the role like Ginobilli did, except Kobe is much better than Manu.

I don't know how great the system would complement kobe's game, I think the triangle is best suited for both players honestly. If they had high quality shooters that would be great.

People forget that Kobe earned himself a great defensive reputation, and Ginobilli has been known as a gambler on defense. Prime Kobe was elite at ball denial, and a strong man defender who would gamble on occasion. If they throw out should've-been DPotY Bruce Bowen alongside, they could have an even better defensive team.

Now he's crap ball denial, decent man defender who floats around, not that the Lakers play a rigid defensive scheme though.

They definitely would have been a better combo, they're both basketball sponges.

This exactly.

Well not exactly. The comparison to ginobili doesn't fly.

UncleDrew
07-02-2014, 10:53 PM
lmao if you guys think lebron can play with shaq, why cant this work again? and what system? as far as i remember its duncan at the paint throw it to the corner to bruce eventually horry up top and parker/ginobli doing their thing. the question is who do you replace at closing games? ginobly/parker/bowen? who?

as far coaching go, coach pop has only started to get props for what he did these last 2 years, hes like baby sloan no credit goes his way at all, back then phil jackson was the only big time coach and he's like rated under red auerbach

oh and if you add in the fact that kobe actually doesnt have to isolate himself from the team, who knows how early he couldve bloomed

PS i wouldve loved to see kobe get cussed out by pop after chucking up shots that sig is a win

McPeak92
07-02-2014, 11:24 PM
Great coaches find a way to make it work and Pop is certainty a great coach...

the real question is which trio would have more championships Pop/Duncan/Kobe or Phil/Jordan/Pippen?

Bruno
07-02-2014, 11:42 PM
Kobe and Duncan would have dominated the decade. thats a match made in heaven.

Bruno
07-02-2014, 11:44 PM
keep in mind, Pops system has evolved. it didn't use to be as fast paced or anti-stick.

Tymathee
07-03-2014, 12:04 AM
would've worked out fine. Kobe's a huge competitor and a very hard worker, two things that Pop loves. I think they would've clashed but i think if pop had him young, he'd have gotten alot out of him. He'd have been amore talented ginobli but not the legend we know.

AsiandudePH
07-03-2014, 03:19 AM
Well, Kobe has been on record singing praises and admiring Pop. Perhaps in his younger years Kobe would clash with Pop (most definitely), though I'm pretty sure he would easily buy in to his system ~ so long as they are winning, he would most definitely commit.

JasonJohnHorn
07-03-2014, 11:03 AM
He would've basically been Ginobli on steroids. Would've made made some stupid plays that drove Pop crazy, then in the same games do something ridiculous to win the game. Plus he plays defense which is what keeps you on the floor with Pop.

As far as him and Timmy that would've been unstoppable. They're both cut from the same cloth of strictly basketball, no nonsense. Also being a humble dude, unlike Shaq, Duncan was more than willing to take a backseat to younger talent as they surpassed him and he started to decline.

Manu on steroid..... yes... this is what I was thinking. If they could mesh, he would have been AMAZING for the system. If they won 4 titles with Manu in that role, imagine Kobe in that role?

But Manu doesn't care if he only scores 8 points. Kobe loves to score the ball.

Jamiecballer
07-03-2014, 11:13 AM
Yes, its a flaw if a coach can't get certain players to respond.

The purest of pure coaches feels like you can give him ANY group of players, and he can get them all to buy in and follow his lead, and his system will have them maximize or exceed their talents. With Pop, he can't be bothered take any group of guys, wouldn't waste the effort. That's why when people say he would instantly make every team better.... um, not after more than a couple roster moves.

i don't buy that. the best coaches, or managers for that matter IMO are the ones who don't waste their time with people who aren't going to buy in. they know they are better off with other people who will buy in even if it brings with it uncertainty.

that's not weakness IMO, it's strength of character.

jmaest
07-03-2014, 11:33 AM
The fallacy of preconceived outcomes...

It may have worked out or it may have not worked out. Playing styles are one aspect. Personalities are another. Most objective observers will point out Kobe's history of selfishness as a negative that may have hindered any ability for Duncan & Kobe to have gelled. There's no question that for these two to have played together and been as successful as each have been apart one, the other, or both would have had to change the way they played the game.

Would Duncan have been as successful just being a "Gasol" type? Duncan does so much more on the court than Gasol is able to. I'm not sure that wouldn't have impacted him negatively. Would Kobe have been as successful being a "Ginobli" type? I could see that happening for sure and would definitely agree that he not only could have been that but could have been a better version of it. But would his personality have allowed for that to happen?

Ultimately we have what we have. It's quite possible that putting them on the same team could have been a horrible experiment gone terribly wrong. Or it could have been a team that dominated a decade. There's really good arguments that can be made for both sides.

jericho
07-03-2014, 12:17 PM
I would have loved to see that happen. On one part Kobe's skills set would be perfect for that team he can score, pass(when he wants to) rebounds and plays good D (not great like some people make it out to be). But his ego would get on the way, yeah he is a hard worker just like the rest of the spurs team but the question would be would Pop be able to control Kobe's ego?

hidalgo
07-03-2014, 12:49 PM
they'd have won less than 5. 3 probably, & Kobe's ego & black hole ball hogging would have ruined them(team mates don't wanna go to battle with a guy they can't stand who ruins their offensive chemistry). that beautiful ball movement we see from the Spurs, ohhhh no, none of that with KB making sure he averages 28+ ppg, & trying to prove he's kewl against double teams *dribble dribble dribble juke spin fade away brick*, no the Spurs have 5(& oh so close to 6) playing team basketball, (yet Timmy was still their best player for all 5)

hidalgo
07-03-2014, 12:59 PM
would Pop be able to control Kobe's ego?not a chance in hell, lol

he couldn't control his FGAs per game either. a lot of excellent spurs talent like we saw these past few year (& really past 17 seasons) going to waste watching Kobe go 1 on 5, & only passing to try & get an assist for his stats, no swinging the ball. Popovich would have hated him

Bruno
07-03-2014, 02:35 PM
you guys are being totally biased if you don't think a Duncan/Bryant would have dominated the 2000s. try to remove your personal dislike for Kobe when making the analysis.

RazzleDazzle
07-03-2014, 02:43 PM
you guys are being totally biased if you don't think a Duncan/Bryant would have dominated the 2000s. try to remove your personal dislike for Kobe when making the analysis.

no, duncan would have worked with Kobe but Kobe would not have worked with Pop or Duncan.

too much ego with Kobe - and takes way too many shots for his own good. Not the Pop philosophy, esp when you have a more skilled big man (than Shaq)

it could work but there would be too much tension between Pop and Kobe. so this experiment would most likely fail.

also, another factor, would they be playing LA or SA? Kobe would have ditched SA as its not a big market.

so ya - maybe in an alternate universe where Kobe had no ego and used all his skills and become truly effective like the greats before him (All the greats were effective and efficient - Kobe has been effective for the most part but not even close to being efficient in his career)

ILLUSIONIST^248
07-03-2014, 03:02 PM
Kobe and Duncan would have dominated the decade. thats a match made in heaven.exactly

ILLUSIONIST^248
07-03-2014, 03:04 PM
Haters gonna hate

jerellh528
07-03-2014, 03:11 PM
no, duncan would have worked with Kobe but Kobe would not have worked with Pop or Duncan.

too much ego with Kobe - and takes way too many shots for his own good. Not the Pop philosophy, esp when you have a more skilled big man (than Shaq)

it could work but there would be too much tension between Pop and Kobe. so this experiment would most likely fail.

also, another factor, would they be playing LA or SA? Kobe would have ditched SA as its not a big market.

so ya - maybe in an alternate universe where Kobe had no ego and used all his skills and become truly effective like the greats before him (All the greats were effective and efficient - Kobe has been effective for the most part but not even close to being efficient in his career)

I thought Kobe was more efficient than Duncan?

JNA17
07-03-2014, 03:14 PM
10 rings.

torocan
07-03-2014, 03:38 PM
I think if Pops gets Kobe out of the draft or early in his career it would have been fine. Pops would have channeled Kobe's competitive aggression and rounded his edges.

If Pops gets Kobe at the height of his career, not sure. Kobe at "superstar" fame was a very different person than Kobe out of college. Maybe Pops could make it work... at that point Pops had a lot of credibility and a great reputation as a coach. Maybe Kobe's ego gets in the way.

It's really impossible to say, but I would have to lean towards Pops and Duncan smoothing Kobe's rough edges vs Kobe running over TD and Pops.

However, I think Pops would have done fine with a young Kobe... they would have won more rings I think, but I somehow suspect we'd never see an 81 point game and Kobe wouldn't be anywhere near as big a star as his stats would have been somewhat curtailed.

RazzleDazzle
07-03-2014, 05:11 PM
I thought Kobe was more efficient than Duncan?

If you're going off on the usage of PER, yes, Kobe was probably more effective but caveat of using PER is that they don't count what Duncan does as a big man i.e. set picks and start the offense in the post. Maybe I used the wrong wording from the get go. In a guards league nowadays, actually might prove to be disadvantage for the stuff Timmy doesn't do with the ball. Kobe has the ball in his hands a lot. bigs rarely get to initiate the offense and are used as tools for the wing players.

in the end, no doubt, an ego-less Kobe would have worked with Duncan. maybe the point i'm trying to make. =P

RazzleDazzle
07-03-2014, 05:12 PM
10 rings.

they have 10 rings....combined =P