NBA Myth Busters - Kobe was carried by Shaq
- Debunking The Myth That Shaq Carried Kobe early in his career
The First Championship - 1999-2000
Shaq - 30.7 points ,15.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists
Kobe - 21.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists
Kobe lead the Lakers in assists and was easily the best defender on that team. The offense ran through Shaq but Kobe put some amazing numbers throughout the Playoffs. Keep in mind, Kobe was only 21 years old at this point.
In the Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, the red-hot Blazers team lead by Rasheed Wallace and Scottie Pippen forced a game 7 and Kobe showed everyone why he was no second fiddle, as he put up 25 points and 7 assists while Shaq could manage to score only 18 points. If Kobe hadn't put his big-boy pants on, there's no way the Lakers would have won that game. It's that simple really.
In the Finals against Indiana Pacers lead by Reggie Miller, Shaq put on a show averaging 38 points through 6 games as Lakers won the series 4-2. Kobe's box score shows that he averaged only 16 points but that's not the full story.
Kobe got injured just 9 minutes into Game 2 and missed the rest of the game and did not play Game 3. In game 4, Kobe played 47 minuted on a badly injured ankle and scored 28 points including 8 straight points (4 field goals) in Overtime to carry the Lakers for a win as Shaq was fouled out to tie the series at two a piece.
The very next game, the Lakers lost the Pacers by an astounding 33 points. If Kobe didn't carry the Lakers after Shaq was fouled out in Game 4, the Lakers would've lost that game and may have lost the series as well. Again, without Kobe's contribution, the Lakers wouldn't have the Championship that season.
Published 07 Dec 2018, 15:36 IST