As the NBA season started again this past week, there are many superstars under the watchful eye of the world. Everyone is looking at LeBron James' reaction to another championship loss, Kevin Durant and whether he will be back to his best, Derrick Rose and his seemingly never ending story of injuries. Wondering which players will dominate, which will upset and which will fall.
One player I'd like to take a look at is Kobe Bryant. A player who, no doubt, has achieved greatness in his now 20 year long career. A five-time NBA Champion and gold medalist for the USA, a 37 year old Kobe has returned from yet another lengthy injury layoff, his third season ending injury in succession.
The old body isn't what it used to be, and if he hasn't kept healthy, I doubt he'll be able to play on much longer. Sure, he's still scoring for the Lakers, he's experienced some good minutes in the first few games of the season. But in the bigger scheme of things, why continue playing?
Personally, I think Kobe should count his blessings. While some teams in sport can let go of older or injured players, the Lakers had kept Bryant from the chop. A rather expensive, injury prone player in a list of rookies and B-grade players. What does he expect to achieve by playing on?
So far as I can tell, it'll be just breaking records. More milestones and records that will, depending on which side of the fence you sit on, make his ego inflate even more or cement him as one of the greatest players of our modern era.
He'll no doubt go down as one of the greats. But on which level of greatness? Constant comparisons to LeBron James and Michael Jordan won't do him any favours. He won't be on the same level as LeBron, who is 7 years younger, and chasing a 6th championship will never happen, due to the current state of the Lakers who are currently 0-4 in the NBA.
In the last 3 games, Kobe hasn't managed more than 15 points, with other team players leading the way. I think if it's not time for a complete overhaul, it's definitely better for the Lakers for Kobe to start winding down. As good as he is, I don't believe he's the personality type to be leading, or for others to benefit from his experience. Just ask Kyrie Irving what he thinks of training with Kobe.
He's winding down, that's for sure. As for when, I don't think it'll happen until he either suffers another serious injury or just can't keep up with the young blood anymore. The sooner the better I think, the Lakers will be able to properly rebuild once he is gone.
As for now, their fans can only hope they get up against Brooklyn tomorrow. Both teams will be looking for their first win to try and kick start their season. Lakers 0-4, Nets 0-5, only one of these early season strugglers will come out on top.