Kobe Bryant: Predicting the L.A. Lakers Star’s Future Production

We in the sports media are in the business of analysis, commentary and prediction—unfortunately, too many also focus on more salacious rumor and scandal—and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant is one of our favorite subjects, for both the on-court and off-court entertainment and drama he provides. 

I was sitting here at my computer earlier, trying to research a potential article on Kobe’s upcoming career trajectory. The idea was that I would prognosticate statistics for each of his next five seasons. 

Alas, I encountered some difficulty and ultimately realized my attempt would be futile. Now, I know that pundits give incorrect predictions all the time (just look at the NCAA tournament), and I’m not afraid of being wrong, but there are several reasons why I just didn’t feel comfortable detailing his future production in such areas as points, rebounds, assists, etc. 

1. You can often predict success, or lack thereof, by comparing the target player with historically similar players at corresponding points in their careers. Since Kobe will be 33 in August, theoretically we could look at how other guys performed after their 33rd birthdays.

However, Bryant is a unique case. He has played more total regular season and playoff games (1,311) than any other elite swingman, Michael Jordan included, so there is no simple comparison.

Furthermore, although Kobe has more miles on his body than other great shooting guards and is also approaching the age at which most players begin to decline, the 13-time All-Star is a special physical specimen. He is notorious for his toughness, durability, training and work ethic. Age might not affect him the way it does some others.

2. There is just too much uncertainty surrounding Kobe’s situation. What kind of offense will new head coach Mike Brown install? Will the front office make any personnel changes this summer or ...

About the Author