“Father Time” is undefeated? Kobe Bryant must have not received that memo. Being 34 years of age makes you an old man in the NBA, especially when you have been in the league for 17 years. But Kobe Bryant sure does not play like an old man, time after time he shocks the world with his ability to still dominate despite his elongated career. To be 34 years old averaging 39 minutes per game, 28 points per game, and tying his career-high of 6 assists per game is just damn near miraculous.
One of my biggest regrets is not being able to witness Michael Jordan’s early career with his first three-peat, so I am proud to say that I have witnessed Kobe Bryant’s NBA career to its entirety. This man is a legend, and in my opinion he is one of the 5 greatest NBA players of all-time. Kobe’s drive is unparalleled in today’s game. I cannot think of any player(s) with the resiliency, the hunger to win, or the scoring ability that Kobe has other than Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.
Kobe often caught flack for being a diva in his early years throughout his feud with Shaq. Then he caught more flack for being incapable to win a championship without Shaq after Shaq left the Lakers and won a championship with the Miami Heat. But Kobe lived for that stuff, winning is a necessity for his livelihood, and the only thing better than winning for Kobe is proven his doubters wrong. And Kobe proved his doubters wrong in 2008 when he helped carry the Lakers to 3 consecutive NBA Finals appearances and 2 NBA Finals victories.
Kobe will do anything to win and he has proven it time and time again this season by sacrificing his body to fight for his Lakers to get into the playoffs but last night his fight ended. After playing the full 48 minutes in the game before against the Portland Trail Blazers and scoring 47 points, Kobe was on pace to play another full 48 minutes against the Golden State Warriors but on the 45th minute Kobe tore his Achilles tendon and is now out for 6-9 months. Now everyone is asking if that was the last time Kobe Bryant will play in the NBA.
The answer to that is simple: HELL NO!
For about two years now Kobe has said that he will more than likely retire after his contract with the Lakers is up after the 2013-14 season. I believe that is probably true because Kobe being his age with his competitive nature and on this Laker team will not want to stick around and average just 19 points on a team that will not be in a position to contend for a championship. But I do know he will not allow this injury to force his retirement, Kobe will retire on his own terms.