Los Angeles Lakers: Why Kobe Bryant Is as Good as He’s Ever Been

Kobe Bryant was expected to continue on a downward trend this year, but instead he countered that trend and had a massive season, nearly leading the league in scoring.

In fact, he probably could have won the scoring title if he hadn't effectively conceded it to Kevin Durant by resting the final game of the season.

Not only is Bryant stepping up, he is arguably as good as he’s ever been.

That’s not to say he’s perfect or flawless. Certainly he has his warts, but every player in the NBA does. There are those who want to focus solely on his warts, though, and that’s just as wrong-headed as those who want to pretend he has none.

That said, he is a special, generational player that has countered the trend of 33-year-old players waning with age. In the history of the NBA, there are only four players who were 33 or older on February 1 (the standard date for measuring NBA age, as it’s the middle of the normal season) of the season in question and had a higher scoring average than the Lakers star.

They were Dominique Wilkins, who had the highest average at 29.9, Michael Jordan, who did it twice, Alex English and Bernard King. Only one of those players (King) actually saw his scoring go up from age 32 to age 33.

The reason for Bryant’s surgery last summer has been widely touted as a special procedure—platelet-rich plasma therapy. The procedure was performed on his right knee, and it appears to have been successful.

Effectively what that’s done is combine younger Kobe’s knees with mature Kobe’s brain, making for the best of both worlds coming together. He’s “FrankenBryant.”  

There are those who say that Bryant still shoots too much, and it’s a valid point to a certain degree. He does shoot a lot. However, that ignores some things, too.

The Lakers have a better field-goal pe...

About the Author