Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers Walking into the Unknown Together

Kobe Bryant will return to action next season at age 37 after rehabbing from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

The question on almost everyone's mind is a familiar one: What kind of player will he be in his 20th and presumably final year in the league? 

The answer is far from certain as Kobe and the Los Angeles Lakers take a walk into the unknown together.

Intrinsically linked to the question is another: What must the Los Angeles Lakers do before then to ensure any form of success for a franchise centerpiece who has done so much for the organization?

Bryant can’t do it on his own—this season certainly showed that. And yet, the ultimate warrior has never been one to abide with players who don’t measure up to his own competitive nature.

Paired with talent, the five-time NBA champion can be part of a collective effort and thus deliver the most efficient and maximum mileage until his career finally comes to a close.

But without effective pieces around him, the Mamba will surely try to push the boulder on his own up those mountains and will ultimately be crushed by the effort.

If one thing is certain, it is this: that one of the true basketball greats deserves to go out on his own terms—unrelenting and always striving for something more.

Bryant recently made the media rounds, talking about hoops, his own basketball future and his upcoming Showtime documentary series Kobe Bryant's Muse, premiering Feb. 28.

During an interview on NBA TV with Ahmad Rashad (portions also viewable on Lakers.com), Bryant was asked if the injuries ever become too much.“It happens all the time,” he responded. “It happens for me now with the shoulder and stuff, and being in the doctor’s office and being told it’s a nine-month process. ‘I just did this, I just did th...

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