2010 NBA Champions: Kobe Bryant Not Perfect, but He’s Definitely the Finals MVP

Five NBA championships, a regular season MVP award, and a pair of Finals best player hardware—glittering accomplishments that, for the most part, obscure the candid truth that Kobe Bryant is still a work in progress until now.

"The most interesting part about the conversation is that he [Kobe Bryant] is not really close to being done," said Lakers guard Derek Fisher

It's hard to blast someone of Bryant's stature, even more so cajole him to be someone he's quite not.

The Game Seven of the NBA Finals is supposed to be his own personal stage to capture, as the guy named Michael Jordan never did, but his dismal shooting night (23 points, 6-of-24 FGs) seemed to mar almost the entire proceedings.

Despite the struggle of their best player, the Los Angeles Lakers emerged victorious, 83-79, finally defeating the Boston Celtics in a Finals Game Seven. Shortly thereafter, Bryant's detractors would relentlessly point out that he was inefficient compared to teammate Pau Gasol (19 points, 18 rebounds, four assists), who merited strong considerations for the Finals MVP award with a timely resurgence in the fourth quarter as Bryant did.

"You're shooting the same way you would shoot in any other game, but the shot goes off a little different, probably because of that excitement, that tension, anxiety of wanting to do so well and wanting to make every shot," Gasol said.

Let's be honest. Bryant's forte isn't quite akin to that of Magic Johnson's that powered the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s. With Johnson's superb passing ability as the main catalyst, Los Angeles would produce five league titles and appear in eight NBA Finals.

Bryant's advocates could wish he can deliver like that on a consistent basis, but at the end of the day, he is the kind of player who instinctively takes over games with his dynamical offensive brilliance. It's going to be off at times, but expect Bryant to always be ...

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