Can Kobe Bryant Expect a Decline at 32?

Written by: Fernando Rea

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (R) drives on Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, California November 5, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)


It is hard to imagine a profession where someone in their early 30’s is considered to be towards the end of their career and in some cases, completely washed up. By all intents and purposes, someone in their early 30’s is still considered young and having their whole life in front of them. Many at this age are barely starting to form their family and make strides in their career. However, retirement planning or plans for a secondary career after reaching the big three-o is a reality in the world of the NBA.

For Lakers fans, this concept brings a very troubling question to mind. What can be expected of Kobe Bryant this year, who will be entering his 15th NBA season at the age of 32. Usually that question is not one of concern because Kobe has shown time and time again that he will put forth the effort in the off season to be prepared for the long and laboring season.

Kobe’s natural talent, will, and incredible work ethic would guarantee an optimal performance throughout the entire season. Can we expect optimal from Kobe at 32? To be fair, should we expect that from Kobe at this point? If there is a big drop off from Kobe’s production can the Lakers survive? We obviously can’t predict how much Kobe’s age will affect his production this year; but, I figured we can go back in history and see how other great guards in the NBA have faired when playing at the age of 32.

Hopefully, history will provide a good outlook and in effect, calm some of the panic that many Laker fans might have about Kobe’s age entering this NBA season.

Next: Looking to the Past

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