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How did Kobe Bryant do in the NBA Finals? Here’s a look at his seven championship appearances

Kobe Bryant
Lakers star Kobe Bryant looks at the Larry O’Brien trophy after the Lakers’ NBA Championship victory over the New Jersey Nets on June 12, 2002.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

In his 20 seasons with the Lakers, Kobe Bryant played in seven NBA Finals and his teams won five championships.

Phil Jackson talks strategy with Kobe during a game in 2000.
Phil Jackson talks strategy with Kobe during a game in 2000. (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)

Bryant exits the game with a 5-2 record in the Finals and it compares favorably with some of his superstar contemporaries. Michael Jordan had a perfect 6-0 Finals record, Shaquille O'Neal was 4-2, Tim Duncan is 5-1 and LeBron James stands at 2-4.

Here is a quick look at Bryant's seven Lakers teams – all coached by Phil Jackson -- that reached the NBA Finals:

1999-2000 NBA Champions

Beat Indiana Pacers, 4-2, in the Finals.

Lakers' regular-season record, 67-15.

Four years after Kobe Bryant and O'Neal joined the Lakers, they delivered the first of three consecutive titles. O'Neal averaged 29.7 points and 13.6 rebounds in the regular season and was league MVP, while the 21-year-old Bryant chipped in with 22.5 points. And Phil Jackson, in his first season coaching the team, took home his seventh NBA title as a coach.

Jerry Buss is interviewed after his team won the 1999-2000 NBA Finals
Jerry Buss is interviewed after his team won the 1999-2000 NBA Finals (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

The team: Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Robert Horry, A.C. Green, Glen Rice, Ron Harper, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, Travis Knight, Brian Shaw, Devean George, John Salley, Tyronn Lue, John Celestand.

Bryant's Finals stats: 15.6 points; 4.6 rebounds; 4.2 assists;

The celebration begins at Staples Center after the Lakers beat the Pacers in the 2000 NBA Finals.
The celebration begins at Staples Center after the Lakers beat the Pacers in the 2000 NBA Finals. (Los Angeles Times)

2000-01 NBA Champions

Beat Philadelphia 76ers, 4-1, in the Finals.

Lakers' regular-season record, 56-26.

The veteran Lakers cruised through the regular season. O'Neal led the team in scoring at 28.7 points a game, closely followed by Bryant's 28.5. The Lakers swept all three rounds of the West playoffs to reach the Finals, where Allen Iverson and the 76ers handed them a Game 1 loss, the Lakers' only defeat of the playoffs.

Kobe attempts a reverse layup along the baseline. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times). Kobe poses with the Championship trophy.
Kobe attempts a reverse layup along the baseline. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times). Kobe poses with the Championship trophy. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The team: Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Ron Harper, Devean George, Horace Grant, Tyronn Lue, Brian Shaw, Mark Madsen, Isaiah Rider, Greg Foster, Slava Medvedenko, Mike Penberthy.

Bryant's NBA Finals stats: 24.6 ppg; 7.8 rpg; 5.8 apg;


2001-02 NBA Champions

Beat New Jersey Nets, 4-0, in the Finals.

Lakers' regular-season record, 58-24.

The Lakers finished third in the Western Conference but defeated the teams holding the 1-2 slots on the way to the 2002 title. Los Angeles went through San Antonio, 4-1, and barely got past Sacramento, 4-3, before sweeping New Jersey for the championship. O'Neal and Bryant combined to average 52.4 points before the 15-4 playoff run. O'Neal won his third straight Finals MVP award.

Kobe Bryant celebrates the Finals win in the locker room.
Kobe Bryant celebrates the Finals win in the locker room. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The team: Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Lindsey Hunter, Slava Medvedenko, Mitch Richmond, Devean George, Mark Madsen, Brian Shaw, Samaki Walker, Jelani McCoy.

Bryant's NBA Finals stats: 26.8 ppg; 5.8 rpg; 5.3 apg;

Kobe, Lindsey Hunter and Shaquille O'Neal celebrate in the 2002 NBA Finals.
Kobe, Lindsey Hunter and Shaquille O'Neal celebrate in the 2002 NBA Finals. (Los Angeles Times)

2003-04 NBA Finalist

Lost in the Finals to Detroit Pistons, 4-1.

Lakers' regular-season record, 56-26.

The Lakers added Karl Malone and Gary Payton to a star-heavy roster, but the team showed its advancing age. Malone was 40, Horace Grant 38 and Payton was 35. The Lakers needed Derek Fisher's historic jumper with 0.4 on the clock to help beat the Spurs in a second-round series. They reached the Finals, but a knee injury to Malone and Detroit's defense shut down the Lakers, who averaged a paltry 81.8 points in the series.

Kobe is tripleteamed by Detriot's defense.
Kobe is tripleteamed by Detriot's defense. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Kobe forces a shot against the tough defense of Detroit Pistons.
Kobe forces a shot against the tough defense of Detroit Pistons. (Los Angeles Times)

The team: Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Derek Fisher, Horace Grant, Devean George, Kareem Rush, Slava Medvedenko, Rick Fox, Luke Walton, Brian Cook, Bryon Russell.

Bryant's NBA Finals stats: 22.6 ppg; 2.8 rpg; 4.4 apg;


2007-08 NBA Finalist

Lost in the Finals to Boston Celtics, 4-2.

Lakers' regular-season record, 57-25.

Bryant won his only league MVP, averaging 28.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists during the regular season. The team's fortunes picked up after a midseason trade for Pau Gasol. In the Finals the Lakers looked ready to even the series in Game 4 at home, only to blow a 20-point third-quarter lead. The Celtics' Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce closed out the series with a 131-92 blowout in Game 6 in Boston.

Kobe walks off the court as the Celtics celebrate the Championship.
Kobe walks off the court as the Celtics celebrate the Championship. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The team: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, Vladimir Radmanovic, Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar, Luke Walton, Ronny Turiaf, Trevor Ariza, DJ Mbenga, Chris Mihm, Coby Karl, Ira Newble.

Bryant's NBA Finals stats: 25.7 ppg; 4.7 rpg; 5.0 apg;


2008-09 NBA Champions

Beat Orlando Magic, 4-1, in the Finals.

Lakers' regular-season record, 65-17.

After a tumultuous rebuilding process, Bryant won his first championship without O'Neal. The Lakers went 16-7 in the playoffs and Bryant, Fisher and Jackson won their fourth title together. The Lakers' defense held the Magic to only 91.2 points a game in the series. Bryant won his first Finals MVP.

(EPA)
(Los Angeles Times)
(Los Angeles Times)

The team: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza, Andrew Bynum, Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton, Shannon Brown, DJ Mbenga, Adam Morrison, Josh Powell, Sun Yue.

Bryant's NBA Finals stats: 32.4 ppg; 5.6 rpg; 7.4 apg;

Kobe celebrates at the end of the NBA Finals.
Kobe celebrates at the end of the NBA Finals. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

2009-10 NBA Champions

Beat Boston Celtics, 4-3, in the Finals.

Lakers' regular-season record, 57-25.

The Lakers had the best record in the Western Conference, and made it to the Finals for the third straight season. Los Angeles acquired Ron Artest to add toughness to a team loaded with height and talent. Artest meshed with a core that still included Bryant, Gasol, Fisher and Lamar Odom. The Lakers won their 16th championship by edging Boston, 83-79, in Game 7 at Staples Center. Bryant was again the Finals' MVP despite making only six of 24 shots in Game 7.

Kobe celebrates a game seven victory in the NBA Finals.
Kobe celebrates a game seven victory in the NBA Finals. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The team: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum, Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton, Shannon Brown, DJ Mbenga, Adam Morrison, Josh Powell.

Bryant's NBA Finals stats: 28.6 ppg; 8.0 rpg; 3.9 apg;

Kobe and Ron Artest celebrate in the locker room after they defeated the Celtics.
Kobe and Ron Artest celebrate in the locker room after they defeated the Celtics. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)


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