Tomorrow will mark ten years since Kobe Bryant won his fifth and final NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, defeating the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. This Tableau Public Revizited by Sekou Tyler provides an in depth look at Kobe’s legendary twenty-year career with the Lakers. Published by Sekou on March 14, 2020 I love the modern look and feel of this viz as well as the fact that I can quickly and easily get to game level data for every single one of Kobe’s 1,346 regular season games. Let’s jump in!
Three Things I Love!
Beautiful Design + Flow
Sekou’s viz leverages white space beautifully. The elements of the dashboard are well spread out, giving one another plenty of room to breath. This is crucial but can often be overlooked by developers. The purple ribbon on the left side allows the user to filter the remaining dashboard by season and on the top right side of the dashboard we have some key Kobe statistical categories; points, rebounds, assists and steals. Finally, the lower right section of the viz provides a trend of Kobe’s scoring over time, his top five scoring games, and game by game detail, all filterable by clicking on a season within the purple ribbon. The placement of each element by Sekou is well thought out and makes for a great user experience.
I had a lot of fun playing around in Sekou’s viz, filtering to different seasons, checking Kobe’s stats for each season and seeing what his top 5 scoring games were. I remember Kobe not getting a lot of playing time as a rookie, but didn’t realize it took him until his fourth NBA season to record his first 40-point game. Another touch I enjoyed checking out was the ability to filter a team from the Top 5 Scoring Games section to see all of Kobe’s games against that team for a particular season (or his whole career) in the Game Details section below. Kobe torched the Denver Nuggets during the 2002-03 season to the tune of 41 points per game, scoring at least 32 points in all four of his games against the Nuggets. I also noticed the Utah Jazz showing up A LOT on Kobe’s Top 5 Scoring Games list, so took to basketball-reference.com to do a little research. It turns out Kobe scored 1,549 points against the Jazz in 60 career games; 25.8ppg. However, if you throw out the first few seasons before Kobe became Kobe, you’re left with 1,328 points in 44 games or 30.2ppg. In one stretch from 2004 to 2009 Kobe scored the following in fifteen games against Utah; 34, 38, 40, 43, 30, 23, 27, 52, 35, 33, 28, 31, 27, 40, 37…simply incredible!
As we touched on above, the Game Details section is great, especially for NBA nerds such as myself. It’s a necessary addition for the user to really be able to see the larger game-by-game body of work for Kobe. It’s also great for seeing the build up to probably my favorite Kobe moment of them all, his final game. In the week plus leading up to Kobe’s send off, he had been performing quite miserably, averaging just 17ppg on 32% shooting in the prior five games. So, to think Kobe would go off for even 30 or 40 points unlikely. But to surpass 50 points and then hit the 60-point mark was unreal. The Kobe haters would say “Yeah, but he took fifty shots.” But, you know what? Nobody cares…nobody cared then and nobody cares now, because NBA fans everywhere, Kobe supporters or not, were left with an unforgettable sports moment that will be remembered forever. If you have a few minutes to spare watch these highlights from the final 8:00 of that game. It’s a pretty special moment.
Big thanks to Sekou for a fun visualization. The design, cleanliness, flow and simplicity are top notch and I thoroughly enjoyed checking it out!! Great job Sekou, keep up the fantastic work!!