The Los Angeles Lakers may be aiming towards playing a style that’s aesthetically similar to the Golden State Warriors, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t merits to a more superstar-driven, isolation-centric style for certain rosters.
Very few understand that reality better than former Lakers superstar and children’s educational basketball video creator Kobe Bryant, which is why it was so interesting to listen to him break down the playing style of the Warriors’ opponent in the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Listening to Bryant laud the ball movement that Golden State plays with in a video a few weeks ago always felt somewhat forced, like him showing begrudging respect for dominance more so than the way it came about.
Bryant’s appreciation for Kyrie Irving and LeBron James’ more traditional playing style where everything runs through the superstar seemed a lot more natural. That’s probably because it’s a style Bryant was more used to, reminiscent in some ways of the two-pronged attacks he led with Shaquille O’Neal and later Pau Gasol, where the superstars make a play for themselves or set up another action for their teammates:
This isn’t to assume Bryant thinks one style is necessarily better than the other. He’d probably be happy to play whatever style gave him the best chance to win, it was just an interesting juxtaposition to hear him break down both.