Watching NFL redzone so I'm replying in short bursts. I do think there was a huge benefit to playing with Shaq. Kobe did have the advantage of playing off a dominant force. However just like the Harden situation that doesn't mean Kobe couldn't have grown without Shaq. But for whatever advantage Kobe had at not being doubled/tripled or the focus of scouting you can't deny playing with Shaq did not supress Kobe's aggregate numbers. And yes those counting numbers do count. Everything is not per 36 or RAPM.
I never said he wouldn't have not grown without Shaq but being able to grow under that specific situation is very favorable to Mr. Bryant. I mean GOAT coach, best player in the league, that is a silver spoon if I ever seen it as far as an ideal situation, right.
Not to mention how it allowed Kobe to focus in much more defensively. It certainly comes as no surprise that most quote early 00 Kobe as the best ever defensively. He didn't have to exert as much energy as he did later on, and it showed from that standpoint.
Who brought PER or RAPM into this discussion?
Kobe still got off 20+ FGA's per game playing with Shaq who also helped out with his efficiency, much like Dwight now. It just opens up the floor. While I have no problems saying that Kobe or Shaq for that matter could have increased offensive production I am not sold that an increase for Kobe in offensive possessions means:
a) with good efficiency
b) leads to what you score very high and that is same team success.
I look at Kobe's situation and I think blending your talent onto a championship team and STILL being a dominant MVP type player counts for more than someone who just put together an elite statistical season.
I certainly agree with you here and was what I was alluding too. However, when you were saying well playing with Shaq meant a decrease in what he was truly capable of that is what drew the red flags for me on a & b.
I agree with you that playing with good teammates is a benefit but you can't act like it also isn't a detriment. Look at Dominique vs Worthy. Equal talents but one got the benefit of being the #1 guy while the other was part of a dynasty.
And both fail in comparison to Kobe here, right? And this is why I hate the argument of what Kobe may have been able to do more of without Shaq because of the overall impact Shaq had on the game.
Kobe going to a franchise without Shaq would mean that he would have had a team built around his talents like Jordan, Lebron, Wade, McGrady had done for them. It doesn't just go one way for the Kobe haters......
Yep, and then we go right back to your point of possible higher individual numbers vs blending talent on championship team and we know which one you value more
Remember the other way for Kobe could have also been like some of the poorer success records (playoffs) that you also like to bring up about some other the other leagues superstars: KG/Nash's etc. So as you state, he accomplished what he did given the team make-up during that period and to me the pro's of that outweigh the smaller potential of increase of some indidvidual metrics.