Gary Payton was one of the greatest defenders the NBA has ever seen and spent years hounding a young Kobe Bryant before becoming a teammate in 2003. Unfortunately, the two were unable to win a championship together, falling in the 2004 NBA Finals to the Detroit Pistons.
All talk about Kobe Bryant centers on his health as his career winds down. Payton, now an analyst on FOX Sports Live, spoke about Kobe and when he believes the superstar will retire:
— FOX Sports Live (@FOXSportsLive) January 20, 2015
Kobe had an extreme workload at the beginning of the season, averaging 35 minutes per game while shouldering a large portion of the scoring load. Byron Scott admitted that was a mistake and has tried to atone for it by resting Bryant for numerous games in recent weeks.
Bryant has spoke numerous times about his body taking longer to recover than in the past, but whether or not that means he should hang it up after this season is the big question.
Some would say Bryant should retire if he can’t play regularly, but if Bryant can keep up his recent style of play, which is a lot less stressful, it could allow him to play through his contract at a high level that fans are used to seeing.[divide]
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