Thank you for some of these corrections in my post. Its good to have someone who's been watching longer (I've only been watching since 14 and im 25 now).
When you mentioned Magic hadn't won after Kareem left, I didn't know that. I also didn't know the hand checking rule was applied seasons before 2007. I was debating based on what I thought I had known. Hope you understand.
There are a few points I'd like to respond to:
1) Regarding Kobe scoring on multiple defenders
Do you remember when the lakers had played the phoenix suns the year they won the championship (either against the magic or the celtics...cant remember exactly).
Phoenix had been desperate that elimination game to stop Kobe. They started throwing 2 defenders on him and he still scored. They eventually had a 3rd guy rotate to help out the 2, and he still scored.
Obviously, this is not something that he does every single game. This can probably happen 1 out of every 6 to 10 games. However, it has happened quite often for him to earn the title "unguardable". Im not responding to your point that Magic had done his share, just kind of a reminder that Kobe did it too, and several times, and additionally, in meaningful games.
2) Regarding why Kobe went 4-8 in the playoffs (with one missed) without Shaq or Gasol
He missed the first playoffs after Shaq's departure. That season we had Caron Butler, Vlade Divac (who played in the last few games only if I am not mistaken), Lamar Odom who was still figuring out his identity and role on not only the lakers, but in the NBA. We also had a bunch of soft, offensive minded, and one dimensional role players who couldn't do much else other than try to hit their wide open shots. Chucky Atkins was a good offensive weapon, but his defense was non existent, and his problems with Kobe during that time frame caused some tension in the locker room after he had yelled that Kobe was the "GM". Kobe suffered a major injury that season on his shoulder when Ira Newble dislocated his shoulder.
Coach Rudy T was a very good coach, but left half way through the season for whatever reason, which in turn resulted in Hamblen's take over. Hamblen was terrible! No offense, no defense; it was depressing.
The 2 seasons after wards, we got the best coach ever to return. You know what else? We traded our most consistent second option for Kwame Brown, signed Smush Parker, and at some points, started Brian Cook. 3 of the worst starters in history, and Kobe still led them to the playoffs. Its impressive.
I know that I am not telling you anything you don't already know; that you're trying to pinpoint some mistakes in my thought process
, because Magic also had great players too, and so did Shaq. You can't have a team with one mediocre player (unless you don't play him) and expect to win obviously. With just a little bit of added talent (Gasol + Odom's improvement), immediately they were a finals contender. Not bad.
Now some questions for you,
What did Magic do that Kobe didn't? Keep in mind here that MVP awards and other such notable awards are all popularity vote. Ex: I don't consider MVP awards as a reason to put a player above another, but rather the amount of championships, along with the role of the player in question during the time of winning.
Thanks for the good conversation, lets keep this going if your time allows it to.