There are many obstacles that make Kobe’s chances of breaking the record all but a certainty. Bryant’s road to the scoring record is not going to be an easy one, but if anybody can do it, it’s Kobe.
The obvious obstacle for Kobe to overcome is age as he not only competes against other NBA players but also competes against father time. Bryant has maintained his greatness but can he continue to do so for five plus seasons?
Many pundits would argue that he can’t and they would use his decreased athletic ability as evidence. Although his leaping ability has taken a hit as time passes, Bryant continues to evolve as a player, making it very plausible that Bryant could continue to maintain his high level up play even as he approaches his mid-30’s.
Bryant is also the hardest worker in the game, which will prevent a Shaq-like drop off. With Bryant still adding elements to his game even at age 32, the scenario in which Bryant keeps his game up for another half decade is perfectly reasonable.
Another element to factor in is the health of Kobe. For Bryant to break the record in about five season he would have to remain healthy. A task that is easier said than done for many players who are Kobe’s age.
Bryant continues to defy the odds as he has missed only a total of nine games in the past three seasons. That doesn’t mean Kobe hasn’t been injured though, as we have seen Bryant have issues with his knees, ankles and seemingly every finger he has during the past few seasons.
Despite the injuries, Kobe’s competitive nature makes him one of the game’s true iron men, playing in through injuries that would put most players under the knife. Although the injuries continue to pile up, expect Bryant to continue to be a warrior and be on the floor rather than the sideline for most of the end of his career.
There are other obstacles that stand in Bryant’s way, such as a potential lockout cutting short a season, but perhaps the biggest wildcard in this debate is Bryant himself. Simply put, will he want to play long enough to break the record?
With seemingly every accomplishment under his belt, will Bryant want to play long enough to break the record? If Bryant maintains his high level of play this is probable because we all know that Bryant lives for playing the game.
If Bryant slips up though, do we really want to see him continue to play ala Michael Jordan with the Wizards? This will be an interesting dynamic in the chase.