What do Kobe Bryant, Scott Caan, Jay Mohr and The Strokes lead singer Julian Casablanca all have in common?
They are all celebrating birthdays on August 23rd. That would be one heck of a group birthday party.
But that’s not what the LA Lakers star is worried about. Now that Kobe is 33, he has some serious reflecting to do.
As the NBA lockout rolls on, he may be losing an entire season of his fading prime. At this point in his career it’s something that will severely damage his attempts to catch Kareem’s 38,387 point milestone for most points scored in the history of the game.
Right now Kobe is sitting on 27,868. If he continues to average around 2,000 points per season, he will still need six highly productive seasons.
Can he make it that far?
Ego-checks on Kobe’s behalf are going to be necessary if he wants to make it. The biggest sacrifice he will be making for the rest of his career comes in the playing time department.
Bryant has been dealing with nagging injuries for two years straight and refusing to rest them forces Kobe to deal with a large amount of pain. While it’s incredible that he can still score 25 points a game like this—his body is breaking down faster in the long term.
Bryant needs to let new head coach Mike Brown keep him on the pine for a longer period of time in the middle of games. That also means skipping regular season contests to ensure finger and ankle injuries have the proper amount of time to heel.
This won’t be an easy task for the most competitive player in the entire NBA.
If Bryant continues to keep his eyes on the all-time scoring title regardless of the consequence, he is doing his body a strong disservice. This will ultimately shorten the length of his career and his odds of breaking the record will go out the window.
Sure the shot of getting another ring will be motivating him as well, but the cloudy future around the team suggest his window for championships may be closing rather quickly.
How long will Bryant continue to play?
That answer is entirely up to him. If he starts to listen to the aches and pains of his body more often, he could be playing in 2019. If he ignores the bellowing of his body then we may be looking at yet another historic career cut short because of their body.