This is a picture of Kobe Bryant dribbling a ball with his right hand. Next to him are the words: Kobe Bryant's Finals Record

What Was Kobe Bryant’s Finals Record? (A Pretty Great 5-2)

Kobe Bryant’s finals record was 5-2. His teams went 23-14 in finals games. Kobe won three titles with Shaq and then went on to win two more without him. Bryant was Finals MVP two times in 2009 and 2010 – the two titles he won without Shaq. 

How Many Times Did Kobe Bryant Make the Finals? 

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Kobe Bryant made the NBA Finals seven times in his twenty-year Lakers career. In those finals, he went 5-2 in series and 23-14 in NBA Finals games.

Bryant’s teams went 23-15 in finals games, as you can see below. But Kobe did not play in game 3 of the 2000 NBA Finals due to a sprained ankle he suffered in the 1st quarter of game 2. 

1997Lost West Semis1-4Utah Jazz
1998Lost West Finals0-4Utah Jazz
1999Lost West Semis0-4SA Spurs
2000Won NBA Finals4-2Indiana Pacers
2001Won NBA Finals4-1Philadelphia 76ers
2002Won NBA Finals4-0New Jersey Nets
2003Lost West Semis2-4SA Spurs
2004Lost NBA Finals1-4Detroit Pistons
2005Did Not Qualify
2006Lost 1st Round3-4Phoenix Suns
2007Lost 1st Round1-4Phoenix Suns
2008Lost NBA Finals2-4Boston Celtics
2009Won NBA Finals4-1Orlando Magic
2010Won NBA Finals4-3Boston Celtics
2011Lost West Semis0-4Dallas Mavericks
2012Lost West Semis0-4OKC Thunder
2013Lost 1st Round0-4SA Spurs
2014Did Not Qualify
2015Did Not Qualify
2016Did Not Qualify

Who Did Kobe Beat in the NBA Finals?

Kobe’s Lakers beat five different teams in his championship-winning years. The best of those teams was probably the 2010 Boston Celtics, who had won a title two years prior in 2008. None of the other teams Kobe defeated in the finals won a title as a group. 

  • In 2000 Kobe, Shaq and the Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers. Knick Killer Reggie Miller  was the star for that team. They also had an aging Mark Jackson and Rik Smits and a prime Jalen Rose. 
  • In 2001 the Kobe/Shaq pairing and the rest of the Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers featured Allen Iverson and not too much else. It was AI’s only trip to the finals. 
  • In 2002 Kobe, Shaq and the Lakers completed their threepeat with a win over the New Jersey Nets. The Nets were not much of a match for the Lakers as, beyond Jason Kidd, they had no star players.  
  • In 2009 Kobe, now without Shaq,  and the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic. Dwight Howard was the big star for that Magic team. 
  • In 2010 Kobe Bryant and the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics. The Celtics had won in 2008. Their Big 3 included  KG, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen

Who Did Kobe Lose To In the NBA Finals? 

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Kobe lost two times in the NBA Finals. The first was at the end of the Shaq/Kobe pairing while the other was before Kobe and the Lakers ‘09-’10 repeat. 

  • In 2004, Kobe and the Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons were a defensive-minded team featuring Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace. They were huge underdogs and their victory ended an era for the Lakers with the resignation of Phil Jackson and trade of Shaquille O’Neal. 
  • In 2008, Kobe and the Lakers lost to one of my all-time favorite teams – the Kevin Garnett-led Boston Celtics. Anything was possible for a team with the Big Ticket, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. 

How Many Finals MVPs Did Kobe  Win? 

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Kobe won two Finals MVP Awards – both came in the championships he won after Shaquille O’Neal left Los Angeles. 

  • Kobe won Finals MVP in 2009 when he averaged 32 points, 5.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game as the Lakers won a relatively easy series over the Orlando Magic. 
  • Kobe won Finals MVP again in 2010 as he averaged 28 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists per game as the Lakers won a seven-game classic over the Celtics. 

In the Lakers earlier threepeat, Shaq was the Finals MVP for all three series. 

  • In 2000 Shaq won Finals MVP when he averaged 38 points and 17 rebounds per game. 
  • In 2001 Shaq won Finals MVP when averaged 33 points and 16 rebounds per game. 
  • In 2002, Shaq won his 3rd straight Finals MVP when he averaged 36 points and 12 rebounds per game.  

No player,  outside of another Laker great Jerry West , has been MVP in a losing cause, so Kobe was not considered in either of the series he lost. 

Who Has More Rings Kobe or Shaq? 

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Kobe Bryant has more rings than Shaquille O’Neal: 5-4. 

Kobe and Shaq won three titles together from 2000-2002, but things went south from there. 

They lost to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs in the West Semifinals in 2003. That was a great Spurs team featuring both Tim Duncan and David Robinson

The next season, the Lakers lost to the Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals and that was the end of the dynasty. 

Phil Jackson resigned as Lakers coach almost immediately, hired guns Karl Malone and Gary Payton were shipped out and, most notably, Shaq was traded to Miami. 

Shaq got the next title, winning the 2006 NBA Championship as the second fiddle to a prime Dwyane Wade. 

But that was the last ring for Shaq who ended with some less-than-amazing years with the Cavs and Celtics. 

The Lakers did not rebuild immediately after the dynasty era: they missed the playoffs in 2005 and lost in the 1st round in 2006 and 2007.

But by 2008 they were back in the Finals. They lost in 2008 but won the next two years, meaning Kobe ended with 5 NBA titles to Shaq’s 4. 

How Does Kobe’s Finals Record Compare to Other Great Players?

Kobe Bryant’s finals record puts him towards the top of the list in comparison to other star players. Click the links below to read up on the finals records of these other stars.

PlayerNBA Finals Record
John Havlicek8-0
Michael Jordan6-0
Bill Russell11-1
Tim Duncan5-1
Kobe Bryant5-2
Steph Curry4-2
Shaquille O’Neal4-2
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar6-4
Magic Johnson5-4
Larry Bird3-2
Hakeem Olajuwon2-1
Kevin Durant2-2
LeBron James4-6
Wilt Chamberlain2-4
Jerry West1-8
Elgin Baylor0-7

Summary: Kobe Bryant’s Finals Record

Kobe Byrant went 5-2 in NBA Finals series. His Lakers’ teams defeated the Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic and Celtics. They lost once each to the Pistons and Celtics. Bryant was MVP twice in the NBA Finals – in 2009 and 2010.

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