In 2009, Kobe Bryant won his first Finals MVP award after the Lakers beat the Magic in 5 games. Kobe averaged 32.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 7.4 assists in that series.
Co-MVP of the All Star Game, NBA champion for the fourth time in his career, MVP of the Finals for the first time, the year 2009 marked a turning point in Bryant’s career. But for the man who became, this season, the second best scorer in the history of the Lakers, the story does not end there.
All this proves that Kobe is a fierce competitor, but whatever his individual performances, basketball remains a collective sport, and Bryant may seem to be able to improve after 13 seasons in the NBA, but he cannot win alone.
If Kobe managed to win a title without Shaq, it is also because he had around him, players such as Pau Gasol, who is certainly the best lieutenant of the whole league, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher or Trevor Ariza. Without them, the victory would not have been possible, and that, Kobe understood it well.
Because, as talented as Bryant is, he can’t win without his teammates. But on the other hand, without Kobe, the Lakers would not even be mentioned among the possible favorites for the title, and their journey in 2009 would certainly not have been as bright.