Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron

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Total votes: 22

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tonyreyes123
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Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#1 » by tonyreyes123 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 4:53 am

Everything stays the same except MJ/Pippen not existing, how does this team do compared to the original duo? Do Kobe/LeBron butt heads and not win as much? Do they win faster and longer? Who has the better stats?


For reference:

1984 MJ = 1996 Kobe
1987 Pippen = 2003 LeBron

so the 1991 championship Bulls team would be 2003 Kobe & 2007 LeBron :o



What do you guys think?
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#2 » by dygaction » Wed Jun 9, 2021 5:16 am

If they can can prioritize rings rather than FMVPs, work together and develop chemistry, both would get their hands full.
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#3 » by SNPA » Wed Jun 9, 2021 5:43 am

Kobe and LeBron can not co-exist for long.

Also, you have cross matched players in the by year comparisons.
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#4 » by migya » Wed Jun 9, 2021 9:09 am

SNPA wrote:Kobe and LeBron can not co-exist for long.

Also, you have cross matched players in the by year comparisons.



That's right, Pippen was ultimate robin which is why Bulls won at all.
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#5 » by parsnips33 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 4:22 pm

Does Kobe play baseball for a couple years?
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#6 » by No-more-rings » Wed Jun 9, 2021 4:31 pm

As long as they co-exist i can't imagine they don't win at least the same number of rings in the 90s.
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#7 » by falcolombardi » Wed Jun 9, 2021 5:52 pm

i feel like at first they would run into a bit of the issue lebron and wade did in 2011, lebron defered too much to wade who had seniority, and kobe is someone who is less likely to accept a back seat than wade was imo

specially since unlike with shaq, here he would have came first and been the big name first

on the court tho? unstopable imo, lebron can be pippen on steroids in Phil Jackson offense, better shooter, better passer, better ballhandler and finisher

i would argue in the 90's environment with packed paints he coukd get pretty close to pippen defense too

kobe is not jordan but he can play his role in the triangle and still be the best guard in the 90's

if Phil Jackson gets kobe to defer the decision making to lebron and playing some off ball like he did with shaq AND Jackson recognizes his best bet is letting lebron run the show then nobody can stop them

and age wise, the duo is gonna be a title threat from as soon as 1990 (2006 lebron and 2002 kobe) to 2001 (2016 lebron and 2013 kobe) depending on if they stick together and the rest of the case fits well

that is s potential 12 straight years title window most of which they will be clear favorites imo
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#8 » by Cavsfansince84 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 9:06 pm

Think about the fact that in 1998 you'd have the 2010 version of Kobe being paired with the 2014 version of LeBron and LeBron would still have the 15-20 years ahead of him. Kobe probably stays healthier overall not having to try and be such a high usage player like he was after 2004. The only real question is do they survive chemistry wise without one of them deciding to leave by the mid 90's. Plus LeBron by 89/90 would be so far past what Pippen was at that point. Kobe and LeBron could be the favorites every year from 90-01.
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#9 » by magicman1978 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 9:38 pm

You get more prime years from Kobe and Lebron and you also get playoff performers way better than Pippen. I don't see a chemistry issue at all between the two - they are both very hard workers who are focused on winning. LeBron has no problems sharing the ball and has shown he can do just that with Kyrie and Wade.
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#10 » by falcolombardi » Wed Jun 9, 2021 10:09 pm

magicman1978 wrote:You get more prime years from Kobe and Lebron and you also get playoff performers way better than Pippen. I don't see a chemistry issue at all between the two - they are both very hard workers who are focused on winning. LeBron has no problems sharing the ball and has shown he can do just that with Kyrie and Wade.


i would argue 2006 lebron, which would be in the 1990 season is already a clear step ahead of any version of pippen, but 2002 kobe is clearly below peak jordan too

1990 would be a coin toss (like it was in real life)

then in 91-92 it would be pre peak kobe (2003-2004) who is clearly below peak jordan, and pre 2009 lebron, neither is on jordan level yet but both are better than pippen

from 93-98 is over for the league tho, that is 2009 to 2014 lebron in his physical peak with the more skilled and mature version of kobe as 1B (2005-2010)
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#11 » by tonyreyes123 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:08 am

I think Kobe ends up leading in PPG probably around 27-29 with LeBron putting up something like 24/9/9
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#12 » by RoyceDa59 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:09 pm

They would win more championships, stay together for longer and overall be a more successful duo.

And the Key to it all is Phil Jackson as coach from a young age.
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#13 » by jdzimme3 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:02 pm

If you knew they were staying together then i think they win more than 6. I think they start winning a year or 2 earlier. That is a big if though. I think there would be ego and salary issues that probably motivate one of them to leave and pursue their own legacy and more money. Because of that i would guess they win around 4. Neither of those guys is taking the measly pippen contract.
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#14 » by Cavsfansince84 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:08 pm

RoyceDa59 wrote:They would win more championships, stay together for longer and overall be a more successful duo.

And the Key to it all is Phil Jackson as coach from a young age.


The fact that they get young Phil with the triangle/Tex is the biggest reason I see it working out for the long term. Plus the fact that players back then were often locked into those long term deals which means they couldn't just leave.
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#15 » by Cavsfansince84 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:10 pm

jdzimme3 wrote:If you knew they were staying together then i think they win more than 6. I think they start winning a year or 2 earlier. That is a big if though. I think there would be ego and salary issues that probably motivate one of them to leave and pursue their own legacy and more money. Because of that i would guess they win around 4. Neither of those guys is taking the measly pippen contract.


I think the Bulls f/o would have gotten both of them to sign contracts similar to what MJ signed in around 89 which was an 8 year/$30mil deal or something like that. Having Phil to smooth things out would also help a lot.
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#16 » by VanWest82 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:17 pm

They'd surely win while together but I don't think they'd stay together for long. The reason MJ and Pippen worked is because they sacrificed for one another. Mike gave up the ball and Scottie took over as the main defender. Kobe sacrificed for Shaq but only in the playoffs. He sacrificed for Nash and on the 2008 Olympic team, but he was pretty selfish a lot of the time. Lebron has really only sacrificed one year in 2011, otherwise it's always been about him. Hard to see that working.
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#17 » by falcolombardi » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:01 pm

VanWest82 wrote:They'd surely win while together but I don't think they'd stay together for long. The reason MJ and Pippen worked is because they sacrificed for one another. Mike gave up the ball and Scottie took over as the main defender. Kobe sacrificed for Shaq but only in the playoffs. He sacrificed for Nash and on the 2008 Olympic team, but he was pretty selfish a lot of the time. Lebron has really only sacrificed one year in 2011, otherwise it's always been about him. Hard to see that working.


has lebron ever had issues with sharing shots? he was fine with leading kyrie shot as much (sometimes more?) as him

the issue with wade in 2011 is that neither of the two was that great off ball but kobe is a much better off ball player than wade

i think as long as he is the main decisión maker. i think who takes more shots is less important
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#18 » by oaktownwarriors87 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:07 pm

Jordan just isn't better than either of those guys, he's clearly better. Neither of those guys come close to his ability as a scorer. That's why it's so easy to play next to him; your role is well defined, and you know that Jordan is the best scorer the game has ever seen.

Any great player that goes along side Jordan will undisputedly be the Robin, and Jordan is so dominant that it's easy to accept. That's huge.

Kobe and LeBron will have grown up not watching Jordan, not playing AAU basketball, not shooting 3 pointers, and not wearing Nikes. What kind of players are they?
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#19 » by VanWest82 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:22 pm

falcolombardi wrote:
VanWest82 wrote:They'd surely win while together but I don't think they'd stay together for long. The reason MJ and Pippen worked is because they sacrificed for one another. Mike gave up the ball and Scottie took over as the main defender. Kobe sacrificed for Shaq but only in the playoffs. He sacrificed for Nash and on the 2008 Olympic team, but he was pretty selfish a lot of the time. Lebron has really only sacrificed one year in 2011, otherwise it's always been about him. Hard to see that working.


has lebron ever had issues with sharing shots? he was fine with leading kyrie shot as much (sometimes more?) as him

the issue with wade in 2011 is that neither of the two was that great off ball but kobe is a much better off ball player than wade

i think as long as he is the main decisión maker. i think who takes more shots is less important


Right Kyrie. Year 1 Lebron took the ball from him because he didn't like how Kyrie was playing and then bragged to the media that he did it without talking to anyone on the team. And there are surely a few reasons why Kyrie wanted out but the one he went on record with is wanting his own team which I think is code for wanting the ball. Lebron dominates the ball.

Kobe was good off ball but he also had it in his hands A LOT. One of those guys would need to sacrifice and I don't think it'd be Lebron. I just don't see how it'd work for longer than a year or two unless they both came into the league at the same time on the same team, and even then....
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Re: Replace MJ/Pippen with Kobe/LeBron 

Post#20 » by homecourtloss » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:22 pm

VanWest82 wrote:They'd surely win while together but I don't think they'd stay together for long. The reason MJ and Pippen worked is because they sacrificed for one another. Mike gave up the ball and Scottie took over as the main defender. Kobe sacrificed for Shaq but only in the playoffs. He sacrificed for Nash and on the 2008 Olympic team, but he was pretty selfish a lot of the time. Lebron has really only sacrificed one year in 2011, otherwise it's always been about him. Hard to see that working.


Hmm...and where did Kyrie’s 30% usage rate twice in playoffs and AD’s last year come from? Before someone chimes in with “usage rate doesn’t necessarily define whether or not a player is ball dominant,” go find players who played through the finals who had 30% usage rates and weren’t the team’s best player. It’s rare, yet James has two different teammates over three different playoffs post 1st option usage rates.

BTW, NBA.com has data for how many dribbles per touch, time per touch, players posted. You can go look at that, look at Kyrie’s usage rate, compare historically, and see if you still believe this BS narrative.
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