Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players the LA Lakers have ever seen. Over his illustrious career, he brought 5 Championship rings to Staples Center and cemented his place as a Laker legend. In this article, we take a look at Kobe Bryant's 5 best Lakers teams.
Ranking Kobe Bryant's 5 best Lakers teams
Over his 20-year-long career, Kobe played on some of the greatest teams in LA Lakers history. Let us now rank Kobe Bryant's 5 best Lakers teams.
#5 1999-2000 LA Lakers
Starting 5: Kobe Bryant, A.C. Green, Shaquille O'Neal, Ron Harper, Glen Rice
After several years of mediocrity after Magic Johnson's retirement, the LA Lakers were finally ready to get back in the hunt with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal leading the way.
Coach Phil Jackson led a team with strong veterans such as Ron Harper, Brian Shaw and Rick Fox, paired with the young duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaq. The team cruised through the regular season with a win-loss record of 67-15.
One of the best defensive teams in the league, the LA Lakers team made it to the NBA Finals where they beat Reggie Miller's Indiana Pacers to win their first Championship since 1988.
This season also saw Kobe Bryant selected to the All-NBA Defensive first team and the All-NBA Second Team.
#4 2009-10 LA Lakers
Starting 5: Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol
Kobe Bryant's final Championship run was the 2009-10 NBA season. Fresh off a win in the previous season, Kobe Bryant and company led the LA Lakers to a stellar 57-25 regular-season record.
In the playoffs, Kobe Bryant led the LA Lakers past the OKC Thunder, the Utah Jazz, and the Phoenix Suns to get back to the NBA Finals.
In a rematch against their rivals, the Boston Celtics, Kobe Bryant exacted revenge for the 2008 Finals heartbreak and led the LA Lakers to a Game 7 victory for his fifth Championship.
#3 2001-2002 LA Lakers
Starting 5: Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Rick Fox, Lindsey Hunter, Samaki Walker
After winning back-to-back titles, the LA Lakers were ready to make a third title run in the 2001-02 NBA season. They won 16 of their first 17 regular-season games to start the season and ended with a win-loss record of 58-24 games.
In the playoffs, the LA Lakers swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round and eased past the San Antonio Spurs with a 4-1 win in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Western Conference Finals against the Sacramento Kings was a hard-fought series in which the LA Lakers had to make a comeback from 3-2 down in the series to win in seven games. They went on to sweep the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals to successfully three-peat for the first time in LA Lakers history.
#2 2008-09 LA Lakers
Starting 5: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, Andrew Bynum. Lamar Odom
After a painful loss in the 2008 NBA Finals, Kobe Bryant and company came into the 2008-09 season determined to make it back to the top. The LA Lakers had a wonderful regular season with 65 wins.
In the playoffs, they had some tough battles against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals but prevailed in a Game 7 victory. The LA Lakers got past the Denver Nuggets with relative ease to make it back to the NBA Finals.
Kobe Bryant led a rout of the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals as the LA Lakers avenged their loss in the previous season to clinch the title. This was Kobe's first title since Shaq left the LA Lakers for Miami. While this is probably the best Championship in Kobe Bryant's career, there is one team that was better than this squad.
#1 2000-01 LA Lakers
Starting 5: Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Ron Harper, Horace Grant, Rick Fox
At the top of our list of Kobe Bryant's top 5 Lakers teams in the 2000-01 LA Lakers. The LA Lakers were the most dominant team in the league that season, with both Shaq and Kobe among the top players of the league at the time.
The LA Lakers had a 58-26 regular season and headed into the playoffs on after winning their last 8 regular-season games. Both Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal were named All-Stars that year.
In the playoffs, both Kobe and Shaq were dominant and the LA Lakers swept all their opponents in the Western Conference, including Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs.
In the NBA Finals, the LA Lakers took on Allen Iverson's Philadelphia 76ers. After losing Game 1, Kobe and Shaq did not let the Lakers lose another game as they took the series 4-1 to win back-to-back NBA titles.
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Also Read: LA Lakers: All-time Dream Team
Published 08 Sep 2020, 19:10 IST