Why Kobe Bryant Is Irreplaceable in Today’s NBA

It is quite easy to take Kobe Bryant for granted, but the superstar is simply irreplaceable in the modern NBA.

The Los Angeles Lakers' all-time leading scorer has consistently been one of the best players in the league since the new millennium. However, the start of his career was turbulent enough that few truly knew what to expect from the 2-guard.



Kobe Bryant joined the league straight out of high school and initially struggled with the rigors of professional basketball. No longer surrounded by teenagers, the youngster had to earn the respect of grown men and find a way to play alongside them.

Bryant had numerous mishaps due to his self-confidence. Indeed, the swingman had already proved his worth in workouts during the summer with NBA players and even occasionally excelled in practice against some of his teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Consequently, when he entered games, he strayed from plays and ad-libbed to the chagrin of his coaches and teammates. The talent and drive were unquestionable, but reining him in was difficult despite the presence of a dominant personality like Shaquille O'Neal.

Even in his rookie season, Bryant was already an alpha male, and that would prove to shape his relationship with O'Neal.



For all of Bryant's initial issues with his teammates, his talent was undeniable. The guard had a set of one-on-one skills that few could match. He had tremendous ball-handling ability, speed, quickness and jaw-dropping athleticism.

Bryant used these attributes to break down defenders off the bounce and get to the rim where he created highlights.

Thus, when the Lakers faced the Utah Jazz during the 1997 playoffs, they called upon Bryant to bail them out. Utah operated with surgical precision and routinely dispatched more talented teams that simply lacked discipline.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers