What Season Was Kobe’s “Best” Season?
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yinoma2001
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:19 pm    Post subject: What Season Was Kobe’s “Best” Season?

Seeing Kobe in the Hulu documentary (up to year 2000 so far) and then the Netflix documentary about the 2008 Redeem Team got me thinking about Kobe again and what folks would consider his best season. He had so many iterations but would love to hear what folks think.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 9:29 pm    Post subject:

Individual offensive season: 2005-2006
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 9:56 pm    Post subject:

Top 8 seasons of Kobe, LeBron, MJ, what would the avgs look like
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 10:34 pm    Post subject:

Statistically it was the 02-03 season, though arguments could be made for 2005-2006. I think his athleticism was better though in 02-03. But the 38.3% he shot from three that season was a career high. He also had career highs in rebounds (6.9), assists (5.9), and steals (2.2), along with what was his first 30 point season.

Not to mention the Lakers really needed some type of a spark that season after Shaq went company time on them, and they got off to a slow start.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:48 am    Post subject:

2002-03 or 2005-06.

In 2005 to score 35-36 a game in a slow down half court offense with less spacing, was nothing less than incredible. In today's pace and spacing, Kobe goes for 40 a night in that situation.

2002-03 he went on a tear. It was incredible, the streak of games, and the ease in which he was dominating. Unfortunately he didn't have a strong playoffs that year, but we're talking RS here I think.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:34 am    Post subject:

From an entertainment/drama perspective, the Achilles season is honestly one of my favorites. If it was a movie it would seem cheesy and unrealistic. It was also a glimpse of what Kobe would look like in the stat-inflating offense of MDA. I still watch highlights from that year (Hawks, Raptors) on a fairly regular basis.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:13 am    Post subject:

Quantitatively, '06 was his best year. Qualitatively, I think his best years were '08 forward, when he focused more on his all-around game and less on putting up big scoring numbers. This was influenced by having a better roster around him, for sure. For a guy like Kobe, I think it's actually easier to play like he did in '06, taking a lot of shots and putting up big scoring numbers. There are some big scorers who struggle with the transition to playing in more of a team concept. Westbrook jumps to mind, but you can say the same of Iverson. Kobe made the transition quickly and without losing his edge.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:21 pm    Post subject:

2013 - it was like he had it all figured out. Mastery of all possible basketball moves. He has had many dominant seasons but that year more than any other I felt like if we just gave him the ball he would make it happen. Back to back 20 point comebacks, clutch three after clutch three, incredible post moves, fadeaways, floaters. That was an amazing season

I truly believe that if he didn't get injured we would have made a finals run and possibly gone all the way.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:27 pm    Post subject:

How good was Kobe during 03-04 and 04-05? Seems like those were down years for him during the middle of his prime.

I think peak Kobe was probably before the pinky ligament tear that he never fixed during the 07-08 season. I wonder if we could have beaten the Celtics that year with the 05-06 version.

But there was something about the overall mastery of the game of the 08-09 version that I think puts that season near the top as well.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 3:53 pm    Post subject:

CandyCanes wrote:
How good was Kobe during 03-04 and 04-05? Seems like those were down years for him during the middle of his prime.

I think peak Kobe was probably before the pinky ligament tear that he never fixed during the 07-08 season. I wonder if we could have beaten the Celtics that year with the 05-06 version.

But there was something about the overall mastery of the game of the 08-09 version that I think puts that season near the top as well.


I’m partial to the 07-08 and 08-09 seasons. He was masterful at the game at an individual and team level at that point.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:55 pm    Post subject:

hydrohead wrote:
CandyCanes wrote:
How good was Kobe during 03-04 and 04-05? Seems like those were down years for him during the middle of his prime.

I think peak Kobe was probably before the pinky ligament tear that he never fixed during the 07-08 season. I wonder if we could have beaten the Celtics that year with the 05-06 version.

But there was something about the overall mastery of the game of the 08-09 version that I think puts that season near the top as well.


I’m partial to the 07-08 and 08-09 seasons. He was masterful at the game at an individual and team level at that point.


Agree, especially 2008-2009. From the first preseason game until the Championship.
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yinoma2001
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 5:16 pm    Post subject:

I feel like 08-10 was sort of the ideal meeting point of his physical and mental skills.
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LBJ missed games:
20-21: 27/72 (37.5% missed)
21-22: 26/82 (31% missed)

AD missed games:
20-21: 36/72 (50% missed)
21-22: 40/82 (48% missed)

Lakers wins and win%:
20-21: 42-30 (58% win)
21-22: 33-49 (40% win)
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 5:36 pm    Post subject:

CandyCanes wrote:
How good was Kobe during 03-04 and 04-05? Seems like those were down years for him during the middle of his prime.

I think peak Kobe was probably before the pinky ligament tear that he never fixed during the 07-08 season. I wonder if we could have beaten the Celtics that year with the 05-06 version.

But there was something about the overall mastery of the game of the 08-09 version that I think puts that season near the top as well.


03-04 was a combination of him of coming into training camp the skinniest he had been since his rookie year and not having picked up a basketball or worked out at all during the summer because of dealing with the sexual assault case (he originally intended to sit out the season until Vanessa convinced him otherwise), plus having to share the ball with 2 newly acquired HOFs (Malone and Payton).

In typical Kobe fashion I still feel he managed to have an amazing season in the context of the situations he was dealing with (coming off shoulder/knee surgeries, no off-season workouts, sexual assault case, team drama, injuries etc.). And it's probably his "mentally toughest" season.

- He had 5 "Colorado" Games in which he had to fly back and forth between Colorado/LA in order to be present in court and play that same day (including 3 playoff games):

He went 5-0 in those games and averaged
31 PPG, 6 TRB, 5 AST on 48% FG, 58% TS (including a buzzerbeating game-winner vs Denver)
https://youtu.be/Pui7eTYOISc
https://youtu.be/XBMcVYp_Bxk
https://youtu.be/V0PmB22MFKw

- He had (what he calls) the "Birth of the Black Mamba" game vs Tracy McGrady's Magic in which he took over and dropped 24 points in the 4th quarter:
https://youtu.be/sisnUV3QlQ0

- He had the two EPIC clutch shots vs the Blazers to close out the season and secure the division win:
https://youtu.be/79y_YCkHhso

- He had one of the GOAT playoff circus shots and an And-1 Game-Winner vs the Rockets in the 1st round of the playoffs:
https://youtu.be/tLAfjaqHs1E
https://youtu.be/mcPR_ctVthg

- He had THE "Colorado" Game in Game 4 vs the Spurs Big 3 in their prime where he dropped 42 (15 in the 4th quarter) on Bruce Bowen. Marv Albert called it one of the great playoff performances of all time:
https://youtu.be/V0PmB22MFKw
https://youtu.be/5LCnu0Utxu0

- He had an iconic game-tying clutch 3 vs the Pistons in the Finals:
https://youtu.be/Hggn_-gKgdM

- I also recall he had like an 11-game stretch where he mostly played left-handed and developed one of the deadliest off-hands in the history of the game "on the fly" after Ray Allen dislocated his surgically repaired right shoulder.

For almost any other player that would be one of their best seasons ever, but for Kobe it's considered a down year.


2005 season was "down" because they missed the playoffs (Kobe and Odom both missed significant time with injuries) and because accolade-wise he "only" made an All-NBA Third Team and no All-Defense. I believe some of it was the media souring on him because of the sexual assault case and the fallout with Shaq/Phil the year prior. Since he had a better individual season in 2005 than 2004 yet in 2004 he made All-NBA 1st and All-Defense 1st.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2022 12:02 pm    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
2002-03 or 2005-06.

In 2005 to score 35-36 a game in a slow down half court offense with less spacing, was nothing less than incredible. In today's pace and spacing, Kobe goes for 40 a night in that situation.

2002-03 he went on a tear. It was incredible, the streak of games, and the ease in which he was dominating. Unfortunately he didn't have a strong playoffs that year, but we're talking RS here I think.


Kobe averaged 32/5/5 on 43/40/83 splits in the 2003 playoffs. In addition, he played all but 17 minutes against the Spurs. His torn labrum definitely diminished what could have been though. Maybe, if healthy, Kobe could've gotten the Lakers past the Spurs with 38+ PPG on even better shooting splits.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2022 10:13 pm    Post subject:

Batguano wrote:
CandyCanes wrote:
How good was Kobe during 03-04 and 04-05? Seems like those were down years for him during the middle of his prime.

I think peak Kobe was probably before the pinky ligament tear that he never fixed during the 07-08 season. I wonder if we could have beaten the Celtics that year with the 05-06 version.

But there was something about the overall mastery of the game of the 08-09 version that I think puts that season near the top as well.


03-04 was a combination of him of coming into training camp the skinniest he had been since his rookie year and not having picked up a basketball or worked out at all during the summer because of dealing with the sexual assault case (he originally intended to sit out the season until Vanessa convinced him otherwise), plus having to share the ball with 2 newly acquired HOFs (Malone and Payton).

In typical Kobe fashion I still feel he managed to have an amazing season in the context of the situations he was dealing with (coming off shoulder/knee surgeries, no off-season workouts, sexual assault case, team drama, injuries etc.). And it's probably his "mentally toughest" season.

- He had 5 "Colorado" Games in which he had to fly back and forth between Colorado/LA in order to be present in court and play that same day (including 3 playoff games):

He went 5-0 in those games and averaged
31 PPG, 6 TRB, 5 AST on 48% FG, 58% TS (including a buzzerbeating game-winner vs Denver)
https://youtu.be/Pui7eTYOISc
https://youtu.be/XBMcVYp_Bxk
https://youtu.be/V0PmB22MFKw

- He had (what he calls) the "Birth of the Black Mamba" game vs Tracy McGrady's Magic in which he took over and dropped 24 points in the 4th quarter:
https://youtu.be/sisnUV3QlQ0

- He had the two EPIC clutch shots vs the Blazers to close out the season and secure the division win:
https://youtu.be/79y_YCkHhso

- He had one of the GOAT playoff circus shots and an And-1 Game-Winner vs the Rockets in the 1st round of the playoffs:
https://youtu.be/tLAfjaqHs1E
https://youtu.be/mcPR_ctVthg

- He had THE "Colorado" Game in Game 4 vs the Spurs Big 3 in their prime where he dropped 42 (15 in the 4th quarter) on Bruce Bowen. Marv Albert called it one of the great playoff performances of all time:
https://youtu.be/V0PmB22MFKw
https://youtu.be/5LCnu0Utxu0

- He had an iconic game-tying clutch 3 vs the Pistons in the Finals:
https://youtu.be/Hggn_-gKgdM

- I also recall he had like an 11-game stretch where he mostly played left-handed and developed one of the deadliest off-hands in the history of the game "on the fly" after Ray Allen dislocated his surgically repaired right shoulder.

For almost any other player that would be one of their best seasons ever, but for Kobe it's considered a down year.


2005 season was "down" because they missed the playoffs (Kobe and Odom both missed significant time with injuries) and because accolade-wise he "only" made an All-NBA Third Team and no All-Defense. I believe some of it was the media souring on him because of the sexual assault case and the fallout with Shaq/Phil the year prior. Since he had a better individual season in 2005 than 2004 yet in 2004 he made All-NBA 1st and All-Defense 1st.


Why did he only average 24.0 ppg on 43.8% shooting in 03-04 in the regular season and 24.5 ppg on 41.3% shooting in the playoffs? Was the league defense unusually good that year or was it just the reasons you said already?

04-05 was another low year for field goal percentage at 43.3%. The Mike Brown season was another at 43.0%, but part of that was they were playing three on five on offense for half the season.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 3:37 am    Post subject:

CandyCanes wrote:
Why did he only average 24.0 ppg on 43.8% shooting in 03-04 in the regular season and 24.5 ppg on 41.3% shooting in the playoffs? Was the league defense unusually good that year or was it just the reasons you said already?

04-05 was another low year for field goal percentage at 43.3%. The Mike Brown season was another at 43.0%, but part of that was they were playing three on five on offense for half the season.


2004: Not sure what you mean by him "only" averaging 24 PPG on 44% FG. How much do you expect him to average sharing the ball with 3 other HOF's who also need the ball in their hands. Shaq also "only" averaged 22 PPG in the reg season/playoffs after regularly averaging 28-30 PPG previous seasons. Kobe's career FG is 45%, so it's not the dramatic drop-off you're painting it to be. As I stated before:

- Kobe came into the season skinny and out of shape after not having picked up a basketball all off-season due to the criminal charges (anticipating he was going to sit out the season entirely).

- Kobe was recovering from shoulder AND knee surgeries.

- Kobe had to share the ball with 3 other HOF's.

- From what I remember Kobe started the season slow, went on a tear post All-Star break and then ran out of gas towards the tail-end of the playoffs (this is where the lack of off-season workout/conditioning came into play)

- Yes, 2001-2005 is arguably the PEAK of tough NBA defense since it was just AFTER they eliminated illegal defenses but right BEFORE they changed the hand-checking rules. So that had SOME effect but a 100% Kobe had already proven he could burn those defenses in seasons prior. But along those lines, Kobe DID face the two greatest defensive teams (according to DRTG) in modern basketball in the 2004 Pistons and 2004 Spurs in the same brutal playoffs.


2005: Kobe averaged 28 PPG, 6 TRB, 6 AST on 43% FG. Not really as much of a drop-off as you're making it out to be. That being said:

- Outside of Lamar Odom and Carton Butler Kobe had arguably his WORST supporting cast of his prime during this season. With guys like Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones, Devean George, the corpse of Brian Grant and Brian Cook getting regular minutes. Malone missed half the season before retiring officially.

- If you think Mike Brown's "offense" was pitiful be thankful you weren't around to see Rudy T's "offense", which was equally putrid. Rudy still did a "respectable" job and managed to coach the team to a 22-19 record until he retired for health reasons and was replaced by interim coach Frank Hamblen.

- Kobe (16) and Odom (18) missed a combined 34 games to injuries.

- Kobe adjusting to being "THE MAN" without Shaq (or all that much help really) for the first time.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 5:12 am    Post subject:

There are so many iterations of Kobe's career.

1. The kid. Competing with established guys like Eddie Jones for minutes. Adjusting to going from high school to being on a team with mega star Shaq.

2. Post-Lake Show when Jones/Van Exel were gone. Kobe ascending.

3. Shaq/Kobe. Just a dynamic duo. Unbelievably dominant and unstoppable, especially because they surrounded them with just the right type of support players (Fisher, Fox, Horry, etc.).

4. Post-Shaq. Kobe was unbelievable as a singular scorer. Didn't have the supporting talent around him and wasted several years.

5. Kobe/Pau. While Shaq/Kobe was one of the, if not THE, most dominant duo, Kobe/Pau is my favorite duo. I was at Pau's first game as a Laker and you could see something special brewing. This is my favorite version of Kobe. When his physical/mental top points sort of met. He was in command of the game as the lead guy but also able to blend his supporting cast better.

6. post-2010 prior to Achilles: Kobe was awesome during these years too, but you could tell the team was running on fumes after 3 consecutive Finals runs. That season where he willed that broken team into the playoffs.

7. post-Achilles: it was clear he wouldn't be the same Kobe again, but lots of admiration to watch him fight again and again to come back from injuries. And of course, that epic final game was so Kobe.
_________________
LBJ missed games:
20-21: 27/72 (37.5% missed)
21-22: 26/82 (31% missed)

AD missed games:
20-21: 36/72 (50% missed)
21-22: 40/82 (48% missed)

Lakers wins and win%:
20-21: 42-30 (58% win)
21-22: 33-49 (40% win)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 7:56 am    Post subject:

ArminNBA wrote:
wolfpaclaker wrote:
2002-03 or 2005-06.

In 2005 to score 35-36 a game in a slow down half court offense with less spacing, was nothing less than incredible. In today's pace and spacing, Kobe goes for 40 a night in that situation.

2002-03 he went on a tear. It was incredible, the streak of games, and the ease in which he was dominating. Unfortunately he didn't have a strong playoffs that year, but we're talking RS here I think.


Kobe averaged 32/5/5 on 43/40/83 splits in the 2003 playoffs. In addition, he played all but 17 minutes against the Spurs. His torn labrum definitely diminished what could have been though. Maybe, if healthy, Kobe could've gotten the Lakers past the Spurs with 38+ PPG on even better shooting splits.


Even with all that Kobe still had a legendary Game 5 vs the Spurs and lead the Lakers back from down 25 points. They were literally a Robert Horry 3 which rimmed in and out from taking that game and going up 3-2 in the series. Had that shot gone down I don't think the Spurs would've been able to mentally recover and the Lakers would've taken the series and then beat the Nets in the Finals for a 4-peat:

https://youtu.be/m6V1-UraQAs
https://youtu.be/7DbQ5Euf4zo
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 8:08 am    Post subject:

Once he became a starter to achilles: 1998-2013, 15 yr peak

mpg 38.8
ppg 27.2
rpg 5.3
apg 5.1
spg 1.6
bpg 0.7
TO 3.2
FG% 45.5
3FG% 32.5
FT% 83.9
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 10:16 am    Post subject:

Batguano wrote:
CandyCanes wrote:
Why did he only average 24.0 ppg on 43.8% shooting in 03-04 in the regular season and 24.5 ppg on 41.3% shooting in the playoffs? Was the league defense unusually good that year or was it just the reasons you said already?

04-05 was another low year for field goal percentage at 43.3%. The Mike Brown season was another at 43.0%, but part of that was they were playing three on five on offense for half the season.


2004: Not sure what you mean by him "only" averaging 24 PPG on 44% FG. How much do you expect him to average sharing the ball with 3 other HOF's who also need the ball in their hands. Shaq also "only" averaged 22 PPG in the reg season/playoffs after regularly averaging 28-30 PPG previous seasons. Kobe's career FG is 45%, so it's not the dramatic drop-off you're painting it to be. As I stated before:

- Kobe came into the season skinny and out of shape after not having picked up a basketball all off-season due to the criminal charges (anticipating he was going to sit out the season entirely).

- Kobe was recovering from shoulder AND knee surgeries.

- Kobe had to share the ball with 3 other HOF's.

- From what I remember Kobe started the season slow, went on a tear post All-Star break and then ran out of gas towards the tail-end of the playoffs (this is where the lack of off-season workout/conditioning came into play)

- Yes, 2001-2005 is arguably the PEAK of tough NBA defense since it was just AFTER they eliminated illegal defenses but right BEFORE they changed the hand-checking rules. So that had SOME effect but a 100% Kobe had already proven he could burn those defenses in seasons prior. But along those lines, Kobe DID face the two greatest defensive teams (according to DRTG) in modern basketball in the 2004 Pistons and 2004 Spurs in the same brutal playoffs.


2005: Kobe averaged 28 PPG, 6 TRB, 6 AST on 43% FG. Not really as much of a drop-off as you're making it out to be. That being said:

- Outside of Lamar Odom and Carton Butler Kobe had arguably his WORST supporting cast of his prime during this season. With guys like Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones, Devean George, the corpse of Brian Grant and Brian Cook getting regular minutes. Malone missed half the season before retiring officially.

- If you think Mike Brown's "offense" was pitiful be thankful you weren't around to see Rudy T's "offense", which was equally putrid. Rudy still did a "respectable" job and managed to coach the team to a 22-19 record until he retired for health reasons and was replaced by interim coach Frank Hamblen.

- Kobe (16) and Odom (18) missed a combined 34 games to injuries.

- Kobe adjusting to being "THE MAN" without Shaq (or all that much help really) for the first time.


Where do you rank those seasons relative to 1999-2000, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 7:46 pm    Post subject:

02-03

pure joy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 9:07 pm    Post subject:

C M B wrote:
02-03

pure joy


The absolute pinnacle of Kobe as a basketball player was 2002-2003. Everything coalesced beautifully that season — skill, athleticism, feel, and intelligence. It's a shame Kobe got hurt in the playoffs, Shaq delayed surgery, and Mitch didn't get enough depth/support in the off-season because a 4-peat would've capped that season perfectly.

I think 2005-2006 is Kobe's most impressive season from a statistical standpoint and on-the-court challenge standpoint. That roster was epically flawed. The four starters, outside of Kobe and Odom, who started 40+ games that season were horrendous and out of the league within years. Smush was out of the league by 2008, Mihm by 2009, Cook would start two more games in 2009 and barely hang onto a roster spot for a few games a year until 2012, and Kwame was...Kwame. It was a basketball miracle, and frankly an all-time season, for Kobe to get that team to 45 wins in a loaded Western Conference. Kobe had the Lakers up 3-2 and 3 points with seconds left in Game 6 of the first round against the 2nd seed as well, and I can only imagine the epic run if the Lakers secure a rebound and move on to face the Clippers.

Then, I would say 2007-2010 is Kobe's most accomplished run. Kobe's one and only regular season MVP, three straight Finals appearance, and leading the Lakers to back-to-back championships and winning back-to-back NBA Finals MVPs. He wasn't as athletic as 2006 Kobe, and nowhere near the athlete of 2003 Kobe, but he was at his peak as a leader and tactician. Another marvelous stretch of his career.

Honorable mention to 2001 Kobe. That playoff run is grossly underrated.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:29 am    Post subject:

08-09 for me. It felt like that was the last rather healthy year of Kobe's prime while he was locked in to team play on both sides of the ball.

However, 09-10 is what makes Kobe's legend untouchable. Battling injuries all season and even getting his knee drained in the middle of the Finals and ultimately defeating the green nemesis after losing to them without Bynum a couple years prior.

Not to mention he had to endure Ron Artest clanking all those open 3s... (jk)
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defense
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Joined: 12 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:58 am    Post subject:

Probably the first ring with Gasol. Proved he could win without Shaq and be the leader of the team.
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yinoma2001
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 5:19 am    Post subject:

As an aside, anyone have NBA2K23? Is Pau Gasol back in it or not?
_________________
LBJ missed games:
20-21: 27/72 (37.5% missed)
21-22: 26/82 (31% missed)

AD missed games:
20-21: 36/72 (50% missed)
21-22: 40/82 (48% missed)

Lakers wins and win%:
20-21: 42-30 (58% win)
21-22: 33-49 (40% win)
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