Maybe so but it was Pierce that had most of the big plays esp. Game 4 when he led the comeback. Kobe did have some shooters on the team and Gasol. Kobe had an awful series based on what we're used to seeing from him. The Celtics were smart with their approach on him but they have some decent defenders in Posey and Pierce on him. I think if he's a top 5 player he has to win Game 4 with them having such a big lead. Do yourself a favor and watch that game its been on ESPN Classic.
Only reason I didn't metion you is becaz more than 1 person mentioned the 2004 Conf. Finals. Still don't see the Lakers beating the Pistons, Kobe was awful that series shooting 38%. I remember watching that series very closely and no way should the Laker have even won Game 2 but the Pistons refused to foul the Lakers up 3 with the game on the line and the Lakers won in OT. The next 3 years Kobe being the best player in the league couldn't get out of the 1st round even with a 3-1 lead on the Suns. As much as I can't stand Shaq he was the main reason the Lakers won those years.
If you want to talk about rings the 2002 Title is tainted and its been proven over and over. Most would agree that the Kings would've won that series if not for the refs. Check that out on youtube just type in The Greatest Tragedy in Sports. I'm not ripping Kobe for his rings almost every player who's won a ring has done it with another great player on the team, but to say he played with Shaq so what thats just a clueless statement. Look at the era and how dominant Shaq was there was a reason most of those Finals games were one sided. They beat Philly in 5, the Nets in 6 and even the Indy series was over after Game 4. I'll give you the 2002 Finals I didn't think about that becaz of that since the Lakers swept the Nets. In the 2009 Finals Kobe shot 43%, he wasn't that great esp. compared to his Conf. Finals play. Also of course you have high expections when we're talking about a top 5 player this isn't any ordinary great SG like Mitch Richmond or Clyde Drexler here. Also he wasn't great in the Finals last year he shot 40% and had 27 asts and 27 turnovers. IndianaBasketball just mentioned how Kobe almost lost them the series, it was more about the Celtics not making shot or rebounding. You can't just leave out the stats or games in the Finals either. He also shot 10 of 29 in Game 3 as well.
I have to correct you again when you say I really show ignorance in bringing up Kobe's age vs MJ's age how do you figure. I'm comparing MJ at 35 to Kobe at 32 not both of them at 32. I can throw numbers at you too. Kobe played what 15 mins a night in his rookie season he didn't even start. They both played in the Olympics and look at MJ's stats at 35 he was the best player in the game no debate and was putting up better numbers than Kobe at 32. Just becaz he took time off doesn't mean he didn't age. Kobe had 4 other seasons where his played about 65 games andn don't forget the short season in 98-99 that only had 50 games. MJ did play 17 reg. season games and up to the 2nd rd in the 94-95 season. Also Kobe never had to come back from a serious injury during the season like MJ did in his 2nd season. Its not about wearing out becaz Kobe has plenty left at 32 just like MJ had plenty left at 35.
The main pt. I argue with you about though has to be the Lakers beating the Pistons if Karl Malone is playing. They blew them out in 2 of the last 3 games and Malone played in every game except Game 5. If you really watched the series closely you'd know the Pistons defense dominated the Lakers. Games 1 and 3 were blowouts and Game 5 the Lakers outscored the Pistons by 10 in the 4th qtr to make it a 13 pt difference. Yeah Malone not being 100% hurt the Lakers but it was Billups who dominated at PG and the Pistonsn were a guard oriented team anyway. The Lakers were doing nothing Kobe was shut down by Prince, the Pistons lived with Shaq's scoring and they didn't double so the other players weren't open and did very lil in the series.
My main gripe people using "people dont want to see the old greats die". Did you ever think, even for a second, that the fact that you haven't seen a lot of the older player you inherently see them as inferior because of all the negatives (less athelticism, thats really it) associated with older basketball.
First, Kareem Abdul Jabbar. He had an unstoppable shot. He had counter and tertiary moves. He had range out to 20ft. He was one of the top 5 interior passers of all time. He's one of the most dominant interior defenders. He was the best player on every level he played on for 2 decades. UCLA would have had 10 straight championships if the let him play as a freshman.
Second, Wilt Chamberlain. Any player 7'1 without shoes, 285 pound, dunk from a standstill from the freethrow line athlete would start in the NBA especially given his durability. Given that he was more skilled than any center in the league now, played when blocks werent recorded, and decided one year to lead the league in assists. And did. He was way too good for his era. He just wasnt on the Celtics. Cant hold that against him.
I have personally preference for Magic, Bird because their IQ were on a different level, and Jordan's Jordan. Just my opinion, so if you take Kobe over Magic or Bird, ok. I just think the size, skill, production, longevity combo make these 2 player rare and truly unstoppable in their prime. No three players have been as singularly dominant as Jordan, Alcindor, and Chamberlain.
My wild card is Robertson. Because of his size, I cant see him getting a triple double in todays era. But he was as complete a player the league has ever seen.
Is there proof wilt could dunk from the free throw line stand still or you read it somewhere?
My top 5
The biggest thing that hurts Kobe is that he didn't win a championship when he was in his prime years even though he put up RIDICULOUS stats. It seems like all of what he did during the middle of his career is forgotten to some people just becaues he had a weak team. Lets not forget Kobe had to go through the Suns, Spurs and Mavs who all had really strong teams when Kobe was solo.We only think about his three peat years, or in other words, "how he couldn't do it without Shaq," and his gasol years which is unfair to him as judging hm as an all-time player especially if we talk about Oscar being top 5... When you look at the whole body of work, Kobe deserves to be in the top 5. Kobe just happened to have a weak team when he was in his prime unlike some of these other guys who are in the top 5. Kobe would get double teamed regularly and even triple teamed back then, and he would still drop 40-50 points on your team. That shows how much respect teams had for Kobe and how little respect they had for his team mates back then.
I'm not saying the old greats are inferior at all. I just meant that we have been praising them for so long and we don't want to see them get passed up. I might be young, but I've been following the sport and history of the sport for a long time now and I do realize the greatness that has been throughout the league's history.