Suppose a single playoff game is the equivalent of two or three regular season games. The stakes are higher so the intensity shoots up a couple notches. Players take their game to a whole other level, causing their bodies to take on a tremendous amount of stress.
After all, it’s the playoffs. You either play hard or go home.
Kobe Bryant has played in 198 playoff games. At the end of his last hoorah in the postseason, Michael Jordan had only ever played 179 games.
And you wonder why Bryant says things like, “I have very little cartilage under my right knee cap,” or that his knee is practically “bone on bone.”
It’s easy to negate the topic of Bryant’s health in a conversation when he’s re-writing the record books with relative ease. On Tuesday it was surpassing Dominique Wilkins on the all-time scoring list. On Friday it was Oscar Robertson. Check in at about two weeks, he may just be getting ready, if not already have passed Hakeem Olajuwan.
Bryant may be on the path to passing Jordan towards the end of his current contract with the Lakers in 2013, but as he has expressed the only ladder he wants to climb up is Bill Russell’s. If in fact Bryant does want to continue his team’s current trend of making it all the way to the finals year after year, this being their fourth in a row, what he does to protect the well being of his body will have an effect on his production value during the playoffs.