A lot of questions surround Kobe Bryant’s future as the superstar guard heads into his 19th NBA season on Tuesday. Kobe is coming off consecutive season-ending injuries at 36-years-old with only two years left on his deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Although many doubt Kobe’s ability to bounce back and keep the Lakers in playoff contention in the process, head coach Byron Scott has backed his star ever since returning to Los Angeles.
Coach Scott recently spoke about Kobe saying the following about the five-time NBA champion, via Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times:
Byron Scott says Kobe is "the last of a dying breed. When he's gone…People will start looking back and seeing how much they miss him."
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) October 28, 2014
It’s hard to argue with Scott’s comments on Kobe. Out of the extremely talented 1996 NBA draft class, Bryant is the only one left standing with his teammate Steve Nash recently going down for the season and perhaps retiring as a result. Ray Allen is currently a free agent and may return, but he won’t be playing a significant role like Kobe will likely do for the rest of his career.
On Tuesday night, Bryant will face his former teammate in Dwight Howard for the first time since the star center left the Lakers in free agency back in the summer of 2013. Although the Kobe-Dwight matchup will dominate the headlines, Bryant’s first regular season game in almost a year is the more important topic.
During the preseason, Kobe appeared to be getting back to form as the dominant scorer of old. Despite playing in limited minutes, Bryant made an impact and turned a lot of heads in the process, scoring 26 or more points in his final three exhibition appearances.
Facing the Houston Rockets right out of the gate will be a tough test for Kobe as he’ll be going up against one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. Many consider Harden to be the best player in the league at the two spot making things that much more interesting for Bryant as he attempts to make a statement on opening night at Staples.[divide]
Lakers Byron Scott Expects Dwight Howard To Want To Beat The Crap Out Of The Lakers