Kobe Bryant Won’t Make It To February: NBA GM
Kobe Bryant is almost certainly in his final NBA season. But if league executives are to be believed, the Los Angeles Lakers legend, grappling with persistent injuries, won’t make it through the grueling 82-game season.Advertisement
“I don’t think he’ll make it to February,” said one GM, on the condition of anonymity, according to LakersNation.
Bryant, in the middle of his worst-ever season, is aggregating 16.9 points, 3.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds from 8 games at a shocking field goal percentage of 33. Bryant’s PER of 12.46 is historically bad. According to ESPN, his SHEFF (Shooting Efficiency) is worse than his rookie season in 1996-97.
Bryant hasn’t been playing back-to-back games. After helping the Lakers snap a four-game losing streak against the Detroit Pistons Sunday, he sat out during the defeat to Phoenix Suns a night later. The Lakers are scheduled to play 39 games between now and the end of January. It’s highly likely that Bryant would feature in only half of those games.
“I’m barely standing. My back and my legs (are) killing me. I’m not looking forward to walking to the car. Seriously,” Bryant said after a reasonable performance against Pistons on Sunday.
While Bryant hasn’t officially announced that he would hang the sneakers after this season, one NBA executive ruled out the possibility of another season. “He can’t even make it through this (season). You mean to tell me he’s going to come back stronger next year?”
The same executive reckons Bryant should persist playing if someone is willing to pay him. “On one hand, I think he could really help a team that has a legit shot to go somewhere,” the NBA executive told SamAmicoBasketball.com. “That’s not the Lakers. But on the other hand, I admire how he has said he’s not going to play for anyone else. He is staying true to the organization.”