Kareem Rush, a former role player of the Lakers says that Kobe’s will to win the finals MVP may be the reason why the Lakers lost the NBA finals. This was a particular year, because they added Gary Payton and Karl Malone to the mix. Based on roster only, this team was meant to be unbeatable.
Kareem Rush on the Scoop B mentioned that :
“I mean, they simply outplayed us. Karl [Malone] was hurt in that series. And I think Kobe selfishly wanted MVP,” said Rush. “I think that we were favored by everybody to win the series you know, and at the time Shaq had the first three Finals MVP’s. So I think Kobe had the mindset with that as the primary focus, but I think he was really itching to get that MVP – and we got caught off guard by a better team.”
The Detroit Pistons, who had Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton, was known for its uptight defense. Matter of fact, the Lakers did not score more than 100 points in any of the games.
The Pistons were — they went on to do seven straight in the Conference Finals so that team was a winning team for the ages and they had a starting five that was very formidable. Those were all All-Star caliber,” said Rush. “They had a couple of Hall of Famers in Ben Wallace and Chauncey – and maybe even Rip [Hamilton]. So they were definitely a formidable team and they were BETTER than us at the time.” says Kareem Rush