Better Duo: Kobe/Shaq or Kobe/LBJ?
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Which would have been the better duo?
Kobe/Shaq
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Kobe/LBJ
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yinoma2001
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:58 am    Post subject:

governator wrote:
peak Shaq's 3-peak run was the most dominant playoff run I've ever seen, especially the repeat year, haven't seen anything like it since


No one is disputing that. But I think LBJ/Kobe would have more than 3 rings total. It's a damn shame Shaq/Kobe only got 3.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:04 am    Post subject:

yinoma2001 wrote:
governator wrote:
peak Shaq's 3-peak run was the most dominant playoff run I've ever seen, especially the repeat year, haven't seen anything like it since


No one is disputing that. But I think LBJ/Kobe would have more than 3 rings total. It's a damn shame Shaq/Kobe only got 3.


100%. Kobe and LeBron's drive is different from Shaq.

Imagine getting 4 rings out of 6 Finals type runs pending health.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:10 am    Post subject:

Mike@LG wrote:
yinoma2001 wrote:
governator wrote:
peak Shaq's 3-peak run was the most dominant playoff run I've ever seen, especially the repeat year, haven't seen anything like it since


No one is disputing that. But I think LBJ/Kobe would have more than 3 rings total. It's a damn shame Shaq/Kobe only got 3.


100%. Kobe and LeBron's drive is different from Shaq.

Imagine getting 4 rings out of 6 Finals type runs pending health.


Bingo. The one thing Kobe always respected were guys who put in the work and improved year after year. That's LBJ. 4-5am workouts? LBJ would have been there with him. I think health permitting, those guys get 4-5 rings easily together.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:32 am    Post subject:

It's like asking Kobe/Hakeem or Kobe/Shaq.

Kobe/Shaq was a dominant playoff run. But Kobe/Hakeem would have been even more dominant and lasted longer.

Yeah, Shaq's 3 season stretch was fantastic and he and Kobe were an amazing one two punch. But Shaq didn't have the longevity or work ethic to make it last longer than it did.


But you put Prime Kobe and prime LeBron together, + the work ethic + the longevity.... That duo probably wins 6-7 titles together if not more.

Kobe's time as an elite player was pretty much from when he was 20 till he was 34. LeBron's was essentially 20 and he's 36 now.

So you have both guys capable of playing at an elite level for about 16 years.

If they're your core, then that's many more Championships than Kobe and Shaq had.

Look at what Kobe did with Gasol. 3 straight Finals and 2 Championships despite the team not being fully healthy for any of those runs. Now imagine that with LeBron.

Kobe/LeBron is the better duo because they'd have much longer longevity than Shaq and Kobe did. Shaq's 3 year run may have been more dominant in that burst, but Kobe and LeBron win far more championships.


Put LeBron on Kobe's worst teams, and I think they still make the Finals.

2005-06 Lakers

Smush Parker
Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Lamar Odom
Kwame Brown

Bench:
Sasha
George
Walton
Turiaf
Bynum / Mihm



That team beats the Suns. Then they beat the Clippers. Then they'd beat the Mavericks.

The Mavericks was a team Kobe outscored by himself across 3 quarters. Now imagine LeBron is with him. They go to the Finals and I'd pick them against whomever they'd face.


So even Kobe's worst team, you add LeBron to it, they are going to the Finals. It would have been that way from 2005-2012 and they'd have 6 or 7 championships, and that's just if we started from 05-06.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:21 am    Post subject:

Mike@LG wrote:
Quote:
You think Kobe would have done that? Naw. When you put two ball-dominant players on a team, it usually doesn't end well.


Even Kobe and Dwyane Wade had similar USG until Kobe had to go supernova 2010/2011.

Kobe, Wade, and LeBron all had USG around 30%+ when they were championship players.


Usage rate isn't a useful stat in this context. It measures possessions used (shots and turnovers), not ball dominance. For example, Steve Nash had a low usage rate, even at his peak. Stoudemire had a higher usage rate than Nash.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:28 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Mike@LG wrote:
Quote:
You think Kobe would have done that? Naw. When you put two ball-dominant players on a team, it usually doesn't end well.


Even Kobe and Dwyane Wade had similar USG until Kobe had to go supernova 2010/2011.

Kobe, Wade, and LeBron all had USG around 30%+ when they were championship players.


Usage rate isn't a useful stat in this context. It measures possessions used (shots and turnovers), not ball dominance. For example, Steve Nash had a low usage rate, even at his peak. Stoudemire had a higher usage rate than Nash.


You had 2 ball dominant players at or near their primes, winning championships. You said it yourself, it measures possessions used and they split it, successfully.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:47 am    Post subject:

Mike@LG wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Mike@LG wrote:
Quote:
You think Kobe would have done that? Naw. When you put two ball-dominant players on a team, it usually doesn't end well.


Even Kobe and Dwyane Wade had similar USG until Kobe had to go supernova 2010/2011.

Kobe, Wade, and LeBron all had USG around 30%+ when they were championship players.


Usage rate isn't a useful stat in this context. It measures possessions used (shots and turnovers), not ball dominance. For example, Steve Nash had a low usage rate, even at his peak. Stoudemire had a higher usage rate than Nash.


You had 2 ball dominant players at or near their primes, winning championships. You said it yourself, it measures possessions used and they split it, successfully.


I don't think you understand the usage rate stat, much less the point that I'm making. Whatever. Anyway, the Super Friends era in Miami was mostly a story of underachievement. Yes, they won a couple titles, but they were never as dominant as expected.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:48 am    Post subject:

it's shocking people stay on that "You really think Kobe would have shared the ball with another dominant player?!?"


Um.....
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:50 am    Post subject:

I don't know who would win more, since there is a lot of X factor baked into that questions.

That said, give me any two of Shaq, Kobe and Lebron in any combination, and I'd be happy about the team's chances
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yinoma2001
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:55 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Mike@LG wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Mike@LG wrote:
Quote:
You think Kobe would have done that? Naw. When you put two ball-dominant players on a team, it usually doesn't end well.


Even Kobe and Dwyane Wade had similar USG until Kobe had to go supernova 2010/2011.

Kobe, Wade, and LeBron all had USG around 30%+ when they were championship players.


Usage rate isn't a useful stat in this context. It measures possessions used (shots and turnovers), not ball dominance. For example, Steve Nash had a low usage rate, even at his peak. Stoudemire had a higher usage rate than Nash.


You had 2 ball dominant players at or near their primes, winning championships. You said it yourself, it measures possessions used and they split it, successfully.


I don't think you understand the usage rate stat, much less the point that I'm making. Whatever. Anyway, the Super Friends era in Miami was mostly a story of underachievement. Yes, they won a couple titles, but they were never as dominant as expected.


Agreed. But they went to 4 finals and won 2. Lakers ended up with only 3 with that dominant duo, and it fizzled rather quickly at the end too. I just think in terms of long term durability, I go with Kobe/LBJ. I don't think they get plagued with the same Kobe/Shaq problems.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:55 am    Post subject:

Quote:
I don't think you understand the usage rate stat, much less the point that I'm making. Whatever. Anyway, the Super Friends era in Miami was mostly a story of underachievement. Yes, they won a couple titles, but they were never as dominant as expected.


Two ball dominant players can't succeed, especially to Kobe and LeBron's level, yet, we saw LeBron and Wade do it, we saw Pippen and MJ do it through the triangle.

They won 2 of 3 championships with 3 guys and little bench. That's as good as it gets.

USG is just the percentage of team plays used by them on the floor dude. The fact that LBJ played basically 40 minutes per game during the playoffs and still had low 30s USG, while Wade played roughly 5 minutes less and his USG percentage dropped to a whopping high 20s. But sure, let's argue over a few percentage points.

My point is, that's as close of a sample as we're going to get to "two dominant ball handlers" winning a championship next to LeBron, and they did it 2 of 3 years.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:58 am    Post subject:

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Agreed. But they went to 4 finals and won 2. Lakers ended up with only 3 with that dominant duo, and it fizzled rather quickly at the end too. I just think in terms of long term durability, I go with Kobe/LBJ. I don't think they get plagued with the same Kobe/Shaq problems.


Yeah, the argument is heading towards "who was the more dominant duo" vs "who was/is potentially the longest lasting"

I'll happily take more Finals runs, thanks.

Just on talent alone, Kobe has gotten in that GOAT discussion. LBJ is in that GOAT discussion. Shaq isn't.

I imagine Kobe and LeBron would be A LOT like the CLE championship too. LeBron brings the ball up, Kyrie goes Iso on the wing or off movement, which he preferred. Split 30% USG anyway. Beat the most dominant regular season team too.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:16 am    Post subject:

LBJ up until the latter part of the HEAT run lacked a bit of that killer instinct. I remember that all star game where Kobe/Wade all got up on LBJ for passing on that final shot. Kobe would have filled that role, and LBJ is probably the best or top 2 all-time in terms of playing for 3.75 quarters. Just a dependable machine who would constantly pressure teams. I think they would have been a killer combo. I'm not sure that I could cede the "most dominant duo" either, notwithstanding Shaq's amazing run. LBJ's playoffs runs were equally impressive in a different way.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:18 am    Post subject:

yinoma2001 wrote:
LBJ up until the latter part of the HEAT run lacked a bit of that killer instinct. I remember that all star game where Kobe/Wade all got up on LBJ for passing on that final shot. Kobe would have filled that role, and LBJ is probably the best or top 2 all-time in terms of playing for 3.75 quarters. Just a dependable machine who would constantly pressure teams. I think they would have been a killer combo. I'm not sure that I could cede the "most dominant duo" either, notwithstanding Shaq's amazing run. LBJ's playoffs runs were equally impressive in a different way.


LBJ and Kobe, I find their personalities and skills quite complementary, actually. Imagine if they took that to heart and learned from each other? LBJ with a whiff of Kobe's post footwork and not just that turnaround fade would be even more ridiculous.

Also, you know Kobe is taking that last shot anyway.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:19 am    Post subject:

Mike@LG wrote:
yinoma2001 wrote:
LBJ up until the latter part of the HEAT run lacked a bit of that killer instinct. I remember that all star game where Kobe/Wade all got up on LBJ for passing on that final shot. Kobe would have filled that role, and LBJ is probably the best or top 2 all-time in terms of playing for 3.75 quarters. Just a dependable machine who would constantly pressure teams. I think they would have been a killer combo. I'm not sure that I could cede the "most dominant duo" either, notwithstanding Shaq's amazing run. LBJ's playoffs runs were equally impressive in a different way.


LBJ and Kobe, I find their personalities and skills quite complementary, actually. Imagine if they took that to heart and learned from each other? LBJ with a whiff of Kobe's post footwork and not just that turnaround fade would be even more ridiculous.


Following Kobe all these years, I think we all learned that Kobe respects those who put in the work. LBJ is probably also in the pantheon of hardest workers in NBA history. Year 18 and he's still an MVP level candidate. That isn't just genetics.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:22 am    Post subject:

^Now I'm just trying to picture Kobe in Kyrie's spot during CLE's championship. LBJ was still in peak play those years too, just slightly different athletically to the rim. MUCH stronger.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:26 am    Post subject:

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Also, you know Kobe is taking that last shot anyway.


Honestly, I don't think LBJ minds either.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:27 am    Post subject:

yinoma2001 wrote:
Agreed. But they went to 4 finals and won 2. Lakers ended up with only 3 with that dominant duo, and it fizzled rather quickly at the end too. I just think in terms of long term durability, I go with Kobe/LBJ. I don't think they get plagued with the same Kobe/Shaq problems.


Maybe, but a lot of the Kobe/Shaq problems were the result of immaturity. Shaq is still a big baby twenty years later, but Kobe grew up. If you put Kobe and Lebron together at age 18, what would have happened? I have no idea. The closest analogy I can think of is Durant and Westbrook, or maybe Lebron and Irving. The point is that history shows that these sorts of pairings are often volatile. I have a hard time imagining two guys who need the ball in their hands co-existing on a long term basis.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:31 am    Post subject:

yinoma2001 wrote:
Quote:
Also, you know Kobe is taking that last shot anyway.


Honestly, I don't think LBJ minds either.


Agreed. That's why I don't see why it's such a ball-handling problem. LeBron was a passer since he was 15. Obviously dude could score but he was so physically/athletically dominant in HS, he didn't have to rely on footwork, elite ball handling, and other skills to get him there.

I'd even argue that it's easier to fix two dominant ball handlers on a team than 1 heavy post guy and 1 ball dominant guard. CP3 and Harden overachieved when the offense was completely heliocentric around Jarden because of Mike D'Antoni's principles, Kyrie and LBJ overachieved, etc.
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Last edited by Mike@LG on Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:32 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
yinoma2001 wrote:
Agreed. But they went to 4 finals and won 2. Lakers ended up with only 3 with that dominant duo, and it fizzled rather quickly at the end too. I just think in terms of long term durability, I go with Kobe/LBJ. I don't think they get plagued with the same Kobe/Shaq problems.


Maybe, but a lot of the Kobe/Shaq problems were the result of immaturity. Shaq is still a big baby twenty years later, but Kobe grew up. If you put Kobe and Lebron together at age 18, what would have happened? I have no idea. The closest analogy I can think of is Durant and Westbrook, or maybe Lebron and Irving. The point is that history shows that these sorts of pairings are often volatile. I have a hard time imagining two guys who need the ball in their hands co-existing on a long term basis.


I think it was immaturity for sure. But Shaq never put in the work, which in turn made it so that Kobe just couldn't respect his craft. I have a hard time imagining LBJ/Kobe winning less than 3 rings combined.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:32 am    Post subject:

I said Kobe and Shaq because, as a wing and a big, I think they complement each other better.

But, if you are asking, which two might have had a more productive long-term run together, then I suspect it is Kobe and LeBron, as I think their temperaments are more compatible and thus they may played well together for many more years.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:33 am    Post subject:

Quote:
I have a hard time imagining LBJ/Kobe winning less than 3 rings combined.


Having fun along the way too.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:34 am    Post subject:

I think from a team composition standpoint, you have to cater to Shaq and account for his lack of PnR coverage, FTs, spacing.

I think it's easier to build around Kobe/LBJ too.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:38 am    Post subject:

yinoma2001 wrote:
I think from a team composition standpoint, you have to cater to Shaq and account for his lack of PnR coverage, FTs, spacing.

I think it's easier to build around Kobe/LBJ too.


Especially if it's Phil Jackson and the triangle.

But you can go the Ty Lue route with the offense and just have Kobe isolate/run off screens anyway, just like Kyrie got a ton of his touches during their championship run.

Honestly, it's tons easier to build an offense around wings/guards than centers. It's not like how it used to be. Bill Russell, for all of those championships, wasn't a dominant scorer. He anchored the defense and facilitated to everyone else. Barely a top 3 scorer on his own team.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:03 pm    Post subject:

Mike@LG wrote:
yinoma2001 wrote:
LBJ up until the latter part of the HEAT run lacked a bit of that killer instinct. I remember that all star game where Kobe/Wade all got up on LBJ for passing on that final shot. Kobe would have filled that role, and LBJ is probably the best or top 2 all-time in terms of playing for 3.75 quarters. Just a dependable machine who would constantly pressure teams. I think they would have been a killer combo. I'm not sure that I could cede the "most dominant duo" either, notwithstanding Shaq's amazing run. LBJ's playoffs runs were equally impressive in a different way.


LBJ and Kobe, I find their personalities and skills quite complementary, actually. Imagine if they took that to heart and learned from each other? LBJ with a whiff of Kobe's post footwork and not just that turnaround fade would be even more ridiculous.

Also, you know Kobe is taking that last shot anyway.

Fully agree. The prodigy that Lebron was, he'd have developed even faster with studying footwork from one of the masters day after day.
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