NBA Myth Busters - Kobe was carried by Shaq
With the third article in this series of debunking some of NBA's biggest myths, I will be upsetting a lot of delusional Kobe Bryant haters who are of the opinion that Shaquille O'Neal carried Kobe during the Lakers 3 Peat during the early 2000's.
This is clearly the most laughable and stupid narrative that is still talked about in "Kobe vs LeBron" or "Kobe vs Jordan" debates. Many people are brainwashed by the posts all over the internet that Kobe was just another guy on the team who enjoyed the 3 Championships only because of the brute force of one Mr. Shaq. In reality, Shaq needed Kobe just as much Kobe needed Shaq to win those three rings.
Debunking the Myth
A player who is the second best player on a championship team is not someone who has been "carried". A player who is carried is a player who has not contributed to the team's success.
Shaq was undoubtedly the more dominant player during those three years but that doesn't mean Kobe was just a role player. Kobe was consistently the second best player behind Shaq. In fact during some stretches, he took control of the proceedings and was, in fact, better than Shaq.
Scottie Pippen was the second best player on the Chicago Bulls team that won six Championships. I haven't heard anyone say that Pippen was carried by Jordan. I haven't heard anyone say Dwayne Wade was carried by LeBron James and Shaq through his three rings.
Was Kevin McHale carried by Larry Bird? Was Kyrie Irving carried by LeBron James? Were Klay Thompson and Draymond Green carried by Steph Curry and Kevin Durant? No. Then why are we using the same argument against Kobe?
Kobe and Shaq would've achieved more than just 3 rings if it weren't for their petty differences. But after they went their own ways, Kobe earned himself 2 more Championships while Shaq managed to get only 1. There is no denying the fact that Shaq was easily the most dominant player on the early 2000's but Kobe was not a sidekick. Kobe Bryant was anything but carried during the three Title Runs and the I have numbers to prove my point.