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View Full Version : What if Buss had chosen Shaq & Kobe chose the Clippers?



Chronz
08-02-2016, 07:52 PM
Yes I know Buss had grown tired of Shaq's antics but lets say Kobe forced his hand and told him he was leaving ahead of time, knowing he couldn't get equal value for either, much less both, they ultimately decide to contend rather than completely rebuild. Now Kobe could have brought the whole gang back himself had he put in a good word but he wanted the challenge as much as anyone. Lets say he decides he wants that challenge with the Clippers, who were bending over backwards for him and very close to signing him.



So Kobe is signed and traded to the Clippers for at least 1 rotational player. Heres who they have on the roster at the time that was trade eligible:
Brand, Maggette, Livingston, Kaman, Jaric, Wilcox, Melvin Ely, Eddie House.

The bold are untouchable, playing with a young frontcourt in Brand, Maggs and Kaman was all part of the selling pitch for Kobe. About the only favor I could see LAC granting the Clips is absorbing Deavon George in the deal, a small price to pay.

Lakers getting Wilcox would be a must (athletic PF). As a result of not trading GP, the Lakers get to keep a first rounder that eventually became Rondo (you may see where Im going with this).
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The Lakers with Shaq on board have the following assets:
GP, Fisher, Sasha, Kareem, Malone, Wilcox and the guys Shaq recruited in Miami, Damon Jones, Keyon Dooling and Michael Doleac as depth moves.

Possible FA replacements for Kobe include:

Jon Barry: Sharpshooter whos brother was signed by the Spurs this same offseason, would provide a similar boost for a Shaq centric offense hes familiar with.

Bob Sura: Gritty glue guy with the skill to play in either back court spot in a post up offense, as he proved in Houston with Yao and Tmac.

Q-Ross: Minimum salaried SG who can play stellar on the ball defense, would go on to shut down Carmelo Anthony in the coming playoffs.

Bobby Simmons: Rugged SF who would have his MIP caliber year in LAC but signed for the min. He came to LA because he saw an opportunity for PT, with Kobes defection, his targets may change.

Jamal Crawford: This is an interesting proposition, Chicago wanted no part of him and gladly signed and traded him away for pieces that were of no consequence. Lakers could've gotten him if they wanted to compete with NY for his services.

Maurice Evans Lakers would eventually sign him to be Kobe's back up but with him gone entirely, hes a bigger priority now.


Heres what the 2 LA Rosters look like after the switch and some realistic FA signings (Core players)


Clippers:
Marko Jaric
Kobe Bryant
Corey Maggette
Elton Brand
Chris Kaman
Bench: Livingston, Q-Ross, Deavon, Melvin Ely, Zeljko Rebraca

Lakers
GP
Maurice Evans
Bobby Simmons
Karl Malone
Shaq
Bench: Fisher, Jones, Kareem, Dooling, Barry, Wilcox and Doleac


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Before I give my predictions, how do you guys feel about these 2 squads in the 2004-05 NBA. Which team does better in Y1 and Y2?

Kush McDaniels
08-02-2016, 08:30 PM
Shaq's Lakers still do better.

TheMightyHumph
08-02-2016, 08:36 PM
We will never know, as NBA games are played on the court, not on paper.

Chronz
08-02-2016, 11:51 PM
We will never know, as NBA games are played on the court, not on paper.

Ever heard of probabilities? Give your best guess, its better than nothing. Its not like the game has zero quantifiable aspects.

cmellofan15
08-03-2016, 12:13 AM
Prime Kobe and prime Brand sounds amazing at first thought but I don't know how well they would mesh. Brand had some MVP caliber years in the mid 2000's, but unless Kobe fell in line with the philosophy in place it might have ended similarly to the Shaq situation as far as personalities clashing.

But I'd give Kobe the benefit of the doubt in that situation because relocating might have changed his attitude knowing that the world didn't revolve around him. I honestly think the clippers could have a gotten a ring with that squad. They got past us without Kobe so I think Kobe would definitely push them over the top

basketfan4life
08-03-2016, 03:43 AM
I'm not completely sure about those 2 years but the clippers would have at least 1 championship banner before Kobe retires. There was a point Kobe could kill a man for that 4th ring, no way he goes down without getting it. And that Clipper roster looks capable of things.

Tony_Starks
08-03-2016, 09:16 AM
Interesting question. At that point we all vividly remember Ben Wallace dancing circles around Shaq in that Finals. Does Shaq still find the motivation to get in shape if he stays in LA? I highly doubt it, we had watched him get lazier year by year. Even a shaped up, ax to grind Shaq in Miami still only put up 13 and 10 for the Finals in the one chip they got.

If you minus Kobe and just surround Shaq with shooters I just can't see them getting past the Spurs machine. I think Pop would live with Shaq getting his numbers limit the role players. Shaq would need somebody who can shoot and slash to make things easier for him as he aged.

Kobe with prime Brand, prime Kaman before he flipped out plus some nice rotation guys? That's scary. I don't see it happening right after the split becuase it would still take him time to find the balance between getting his buckets and getting the guys involved.

But once he did? Man oh man Kobe and Brand with Magette just getting buckets are good for 2 rings.

Year 1 Shaqs team would definitely be better though. Not winning a chip but they'd be better than Kobes Clippers. Year 2 Kobe gets it and it's a wrap.

PowerHouse
08-03-2016, 09:39 AM
Wait, rewind for a second. Lakers sign and trade Kobe and all they get back is Wilcox and Dooling?

Buss was way too tough a negotiator to allow himself to get raped in that way.

Slug3
08-03-2016, 11:03 AM
Interesting question. At that point we all vividly remember Ben Wallace dancing circles around Shaq in that Finals. Does Shaq still find the motivation to get in shape if he stays in LA? I highly doubt it, we had watched him get lazier year by year. Even a shaped up, ax to grind Shaq in Miami still only put up 13 and 10 for the Finals in the one chip they got.

If you minus Kobe and just surround Shaq with shooters I just can't see them getting past the Spurs machine. I think Pop would live with Shaq getting his numbers limit the role players. Shaq would need somebody who can shoot and slash to make things easier for him as he aged.

Kobe with prime Brand, prime Kaman before he flipped out plus some nice rotation guys? That's scary. I don't see it happening right after the split becuase it would still take him time to find the balance between getting his buckets and getting the guys involved.

But once he did? Man oh man Kobe and Brand with Magette just getting buckets are good for 2 rings.

Year 1 Shaqs team would definitely be better though. Not winning a chip but they'd be better than Kobes Clippers. Year 2 Kobe gets it and it's a wrap.

Am I the only one who didn't think Ben Wallace did anything great against Shaq in that finals? I mean Shaw put up 26 and 11 while shooting 63% from the field. Kobe didn't have a horrible finals, but did shoot like 37% or something like that. But really the Lakers biggest problem is they didn't have a single other player average in the double figures. Losing Malone hurt, but Ben was not doing anything to stop Shaq that finals.

Tony_Starks
08-03-2016, 11:38 AM
Am I the only one who didn't think Ben Wallace did anything great against Shaq in that finals? I mean Shaw put up 26 and 11 while shooting 63% from the field. Kobe didn't have a horrible finals, but did shoot like 37% or something like that. But really the Lakers biggest problem is they didn't have a single other player average in the double figures. Losing Malone hurt, but Ben was not doing anything to stop Shaq that finals.

Did you watch? I watched every second and while Shaq was very efficient offensively Big Ben was completely out hustling him the entire series. Every loose ball, offensive board, Ben made Shaq look silly. Most Laker fans were screaming at Shaq on defense for being lazy and Kobe on offense for going rogue.

Kobe certainly didn't help trying to shoot over Tayshaun but he did at least come through on the only win we got, otherwise it would've been a clean sweep.

Malone out had left us to put Slava on Rasheed Wallace and he simply ate him alive.

Chronz
08-03-2016, 11:43 AM
I'm not completely sure about those 2 years but the clippers would have at least 1 championship banner before Kobe retires. There was a point Kobe could kill a man for that 4th ring, no way he goes down without getting it. And that Clipper roster looks capable of things.

Yeah no doubt, they eventually get one. I always remember looking back on the 2006 playoffs, when I thought the Lakers and Clippers would clash in a series, only for Phoenix to come back and wipe us both out. I just remember thinking "damn you Kobe, we could've made sweet music together", surely they obliterate the Suns if they just joined forces.


Interesting question. At that point we all vividly remember Ben Wallace dancing circles around Shaq in that Finals.
Shaq was the only one who showed up those Finals, Malone was hurt the team would be more competitive this time, especially with Shaq continuing to shed weight.


Does Shaq still find the motivation to get in shape if he stays in LA? I highly doubt it, we had watched him get lazier year by year. Even a shaped up, ax to grind Shaq in Miami still only put up 13 and 10 for the Finals in the one chip they got.

Shaq's weight is where Laker fans lose sight of the facts and context altogether, there are so many issues here I dont know even know where to start. Well lets start with the "ax to grind Miami Shaq putting up 13-10". Actually, Shaq got beefier than his initial year in Miami. He won a title doing it his way instead of trying to please Riley by being in the best condition possible, he did this because he felt his body wasn't responding to the hits he took and by the time the main competition came, he was too injured to really play in the ECF. So the next year he gains the weight, he destroys Ben Wallace and co in the ECF and then puts up 13-10 while attracting hard doubles aka 2 7footers were trapping him opening up the lane and shots for the offense. I might be wrong but I think his statistical output for those 2 Finals were better than some of Kobe's finals.

Before that, Shaq had coasted but he never ballooned until he had that toe injury and decided to weigh his options carefully. One treatment would have fixed his ailment but it would have taken him out all year, another would do nothing but rehab the issue, and the one he chose was the middle ground, a less invasive procedure that allowed him to return to action in time to save the Lakers from the lottery Kobe was leading them too. Then come the series vs the Spurs, it was Kobe who faltered, as the weight he gained (Kobe was around 220 at this point) had taken the toll on his knees. So you see, sometimes good work ethic gets in the way of your bodies progress just the same, its really up to the athlete to gauge his body. Shaq knew his body better than anyone, very few men in human history have walked in Shaqs shoes as huge 7footer. He actually held up better than some expected given the force he put on his joints. Anyways, after that 2003 loss, there was already talk about a motivated Shaq and true enough, he shed about 20lbs that Summer. Maybe not enough to please those who wants a Kobe like work ethic but the dude was putting in more effort than in years past. He continued on those efforts in Miami and had his last MVP caliber RS, sadly, Shaq gearing up for an MVP run at his age and style of play was a bad idea, Shaq should have been on the Duncan plan by this point.

So rough figures off the top of my head, Shaq ballooned to about 370-380 in 03, dropped down to 350-360 in 04 and dropped down to 320 in Miami only gain the weight again (about 340) in his championship run then complications began with his calf or butt muscle that wouldn't be fixed until he showed up in Phoenix. I remember at different points with Cleveland, when he got hurt midseason, since he couldn't play he decided to shed weight and was actually at the lowest he had been in like 7 years, I remember Bron joking that he looked anorexic or something like that, prolly something more politically correct but its Bron so I wouldn't be surprised either way.

So in short, yes, I do think Shaq continues losing the weight because he was not yet at his optimal level and he had all the motivation in the world to prove he was still the best. Losing to Duncan, Losing in the FInals, Getting rid of Kobe, this is what drove Shaq to prove himself, not just being traded.


If you minus Kobe and just surround Shaq with shooters I just can't see them getting past the Spurs machine. I think Pop would live with Shaq getting his numbers limit the role players. Shaq would need somebody who can shoot and slash to make things easier for him as he aged.

Kobe with prime Brand, prime Kaman before he flipped out plus some nice rotation guys? That's scary. I don't see it happening right after the split becuase it would still take him time to find the balance between getting his buckets and getting the guys involved.

But once he did? Man oh man Kobe and Brand with Magette just getting buckets are good for 2 rings.

Year 1 Shaqs team would definitely be better though. Not winning a chip but they'd be better than Kobes Clippers. Year 2 Kobe gets it and it's a wrap.
Y2 was when Kobe entered his phental state so you might be right about that, still by year 2, I think the Lakers finally have the Cap space to do some damage, gonna scope out the possible marquee free agents that would have been enticed to join the still contending Lakers with cap space to boot.

Chronz
08-03-2016, 12:03 PM
Am I the only one who didn't think Ben Wallace did anything great against Shaq in that finals? I mean Shaw put up 26 and 11 while shooting 63% from the field. Kobe didn't have a horrible finals, but did shoot like 37% or something like that. But really the Lakers biggest problem is they didn't have a single other player average in the double figures. Losing Malone hurt, but Ben was not doing anything to stop Shaq that finals.

Big Ben was great but he was no Shaq. And you're wrong, Kobe had a DISASTROUS Finals. To the point where Phil Jackson said the team wasted a vintage Shaq game and wrote in his book how insubordinate Kobe was, the stats themselves show one of the worst Finals ever from a star but the context behind it, how he didn't feed the guy who was dominating enough, how he was gunning for the MVP, thats the lowest Kobe has ever stooped.

I defended Kobe for refusing to shoot in G7 vs Phoenix once I stepped back from the moment but this one, Ill never forget.

JasonJohnHorn
08-03-2016, 12:31 PM
My guess is that Kobe and Shaq don't win any more titles with those squads, and unless traded, retire having only won rings with each other.

Chronz
08-03-2016, 02:12 PM
My guess is that Kobe and Shaq don't win any more titles with those squads, and unless traded, retire having only won rings with each other.

Shaq maybe, that assumes nobody would come to play with him in LA. Dont like that idea.

Kobe with Brand and eventually Cassell? They at least make a conference Finals and then at that point it becomes a matchup thing

Slug3
08-03-2016, 04:35 PM
Did you watch? I watched every second and while Shaq was very efficient offensively Big Ben was completely out hustling him the entire series. Every loose ball, offensive board, Ben made Shaq look silly. Most Laker fans were screaming at Shaq on defense for being lazy and Kobe on offense for going rogue.

Kobe certainly didn't help trying to shoot over Tayshaun but he did at least come through on the only win we got, otherwise it would've been a clean sweep.

Malone out had left us to put Slava on Rasheed Wallace and he simply ate him alive.

We all know how Shaw can get, I wouldn't be surprised if he played lazy on D as Kobe was chucking that series and shaq might have wanted the ball more. We all know how the big fella gets. Maybe they still could have won if Kobe feed Shaq more, but at this point Kobe was pretty much in the place on wanting to be out of Shaqs shadow.

Tony_Starks
08-03-2016, 04:46 PM
We all know how Shaw can get, I wouldn't be surprised if he played lazy on D as Kobe was chucking that series and shaq might have wanted the ball more. We all know how the big fella gets. Maybe they still could have won if Kobe feed Shaq more, but at this point Kobe was pretty much in the place on wanting to be out of Shaqs shadow.

Well it was definitely treason on Kobes part and you're right Shaq was very spiteful during the feud but that's still no excuse.

It's not like Big Ben was some unstoppable force he was killing them with sheer effort.

It was hard to even watch. Wallace running around catching alley oops, snatching offensive boards, and and tip dunk rebounds like the second coming of Wilt. That's preposterous!

Chronz
08-03-2016, 05:25 PM
Well it was definitely treason on Kobes part and you're right Shaq was very spiteful during the feud but that's still no excuse.

It's not like Big Ben was some unstoppable force he was killing them with sheer effort.

It was hard to even watch. Wallace running around catching alley oops, snatching offensive boards, and and tip dunk rebounds like the second coming of Wilt. That's preposterous!

He was killing EVERYONE with sheer effort, thats kind of what you have to do when you're undersized and rely on leaping ability bro. You make it seem like Ben Wallace played out of his mind when in reality, his efficiency/production was no greater than it was all year.

Whereas with Kobe, there was a DRASTIC difference in his level of play and commitment to the team. Shaq was OK with deferring during the playoffs when the matchups dictated it. The way Shaq plays lends itself to teamplay, he cant simply bring the ball up court and chuck, he has to get the ball from his teammates. In this series, I never saw Kobe play so selfishly and pass up a post entree pass to Shaq in order to get another low% mid range shot off. That was the biggest difference between the Lakers, Kobe not passing to Shaq. Its been the trend throughout their marriage, 04 was just when Kobe had enough and had to be humbled. I honestly predicted the Lakers losing that series AND for Kobe missing the playoffs the next year. Thank god most of my friends are Laker fans, otherwise I would be in more debt than I already was.

Chronz
08-03-2016, 05:48 PM
Wait, rewind for a second. Lakers sign and trade Kobe and all they get back is Wilcox and Dooling?

Buss was way too tough a negotiator to allow himself to get raped in that way.

Im trying to do this without damaging the Clippers too much. If you wanted, you could take back Jaric and then reap the same rewards the Clips received, which were Sam Cassell and another lotto pick.

Bostonjorge
08-03-2016, 06:42 PM
That Clippers roster added cassell the second year and got 1 game away from the western conference finals. From not making the playoffs to 1 game away. If cassell gave them that much of a impact imagine adding Kobe. Can't see how he don't get the Clippers a championship. Especially when the team was the Suns that beat the Clippers. Kobe almost beat them 5 on 1 that same playoffs.

Shaq won't have been the leagues real MVP like his first year in Miami. Phill came out and said one of the reason the lakers dynasty broke up was because

“Shaq had a clown role he had to play,” he said. “So that was part of the rift.”

Phill like almost everyone in the league past or present has commented on Shaqs weight problems. If Shaq had stayed in LA then there is no reason for him to change his mid set. That would of destroyed Shaq faster then anything else. Being traded modivates Shaq. With no trade what's the motivation?

Chronz
08-03-2016, 09:19 PM
That Clippers roster added cassell the second year and got 1 game away from the western conference finals. From not making the playoffs to 1 game away. If cassell gave them that much of a impact imagine adding Kobe. Can't see how he don't get the Clippers a championship. Especially when the team was the Suns that beat the Clippers. Kobe almost beat them 5 on 1 that same playoffs.

Shaq won't have been the leagues real MVP like his first year in Miami. Phill came out and said one of the reason the lakers dynasty broke up was because

“Shaq had a clown role he had to play,” he said. “So that was part of the rift.”

Phill like almost everyone in the league past or present has commented on Shaqs weight problems. If Shaq had stayed in LA then there is no reason for him to change his mid set. That would of destroyed Shaq faster then anything else. Being traded modivates Shaq. With no trade what's the motivation?

You're so blind its the same motivation that got him to begin the weight loss in LA... the same motivation that sparked various weight loss/gains in various spots outside LA.

BTW, Phil never came out and said the Lakers wasted a vintage Kobe night during their Final run together, he said that about Shaq because Kobe refused to listen to the gameplan. This after he already experienced the team playing better without him in 2001 and this with the team always playing better with Shaq than with him. Plz try to be objective when entering my threads, this isn't the Lakers forum.

Bostonjorge
08-03-2016, 09:49 PM
You're so blind its the same motivation that got him to begin the weight loss in LA... the same motivation that sparked various weight loss/gains in various spots outside LA.

BTW, Phil never came out and said the Lakers wasted a vintage Kobe night during their Final run together, he said that about Shaq because Kobe refused to listen to the gameplan. This after he already experienced the team playing better without him in 2001 and this with the team always playing better with Shaq than with him. Plz try to be objective when entering my threads, this isn't the Lakers forum.

Either way I think that clipper team could of won a title with either Shaq or Kobe. Brand and Magttee are really good #2 and #3 options.

TheMightyHumph
08-03-2016, 10:33 PM
Well it was definitely treason on Kobes part and you're right Shaq was very spiteful during the feud but that's still no excuse.

It's not like Big Ben was some unstoppable force he was killing them with sheer effort.

It was hard to even watch. Wallace running around catching alley oops, snatching offensive boards, and and tip dunk rebounds like the second coming of Wilt. That's preposterous!

Shaq was spitful? Kobe first instinct after he raped that girl was to try to rat out Shaq.