The fortune of the Los Angeles Lakers is very much dependent on the health and playing level of Kobe Bryant. After playing only six games last season, many wonder how he will come back, especially at the age of 36.
Bryant does, however, represent the Lakers’ best chance at a star player this season. And in an interview with Sports Illustrated, he admits that he won’t be the same player, but that won’t make him less great:
So when I hear pundits and people talk, saying, ‘Well, he won’t be what he was.’ Know what? You’re right. I won’t be. But just because something evolves, it doesn’t make it any less better than it was before.
Bryant understands that he can’t do the same things that he did when he was 21 years old, but he is smart enough to change his game to maintain his effectiveness.
He showcased that during his last full season in 2012-13. He averaged over 27 points per game, but was far more efficient in doing so.
He began working far more frequently from the post and elbow areas, developing one of the best mid-range games in the league. As a result, Bryant shot a career-high 51 percent from inside the three-point line.
Even though Bryant didn’t get to play much, he was surely able to study the league. He knows what he can and can’t do, and seems determined to maintain his high level of play.[divide]
Kobe Bryant Answers Fan’s Questions, Talks Keys To The Game