I’m sure many of you have heard the news about Kobe Bryant’s knee fracture and how he is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks but if you think for a second that Kobe Bryant’s career is over, you obviously don’t know enough about the competitive nature that burns inside the 5-time NBA champion. The good news for Lakers fans is Kobe will return, unfortunately this is yet another setback for him and the Lakers organization as a whole.
When Kobe returns, will he be the same player? At the age of 35, of course not, but Kobe will still be better than 80 percent of the players in the league at his position. He’ll still be the same scoring threat who can impose his will on most guards in the post area and he is the same player who will force opponents to work extra hard on defense. The harsh reality is the Lakers don’t appear to be a playoff team with or without Kobe and the organization will be facing some tough decisions as to whether or not to surround Kobe with better talent before his two year $48 million dollar contract expires.
Kobe is a competitor thriving to match or surpass Michael Jordan in the total number of NBA championships, sadly he will fall short of such a milestone if he continues to compete with the current Lakers roster. The Lakers are in dire need of an additional superstar or above average player who can take some of the pressure off Kobe. He and Pau Gasol are great friends who share two NBA titles together, unfortunately Gasol’s abilities on the court are on the decline and he doesn’t seem not fit into Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system. The Lakers should consider offloading Gasol and company in hopes if luring a high quality player.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) December 19, 2013
Lets be honest, the Lakers are currently sitting at the bottom of the standings in the Western Conference, on the up side they were playing better basketball without Kobe Bryant in the lineup. With Kobe in the lineup the Lakers were 2 – 4 and Kobe accumulated just as many turnovers as he did assists. Kobe obviously needs to get his timing back but at this point in the NBA season he appears to disrupt team chemistry. If anything, Kobe should take the six weeks he will be spending watching the game from the stands as an opportunity to reflect, smell some flowers, or take a long walk on the beach. Humor aside, Kobe should consider scouting and persuading any available talent in the league to join him in the bright lights of Los Angeles before he runs himself into the ground.
Should the Lakers shelve Kobe for the remainder of the season? If Kobe is less than 100 percent I’d say yes but if he is fully capable of playing, I doubt anyone can persuade him not to step on the court. Kobe is highly competitive, it’s in his DNA – if he could play on one leg he would. The Lakers have bigger issues, they require a drastic roster makeover and better coaching if they ever wish to see another NBA playoff game let alone the NBA finals.