After three consecutive season-ending injuries, Kobe Bryant has appeared in 45 of the 55 games for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. While Bryant has had some vintage performances in his final season, he has been battling Father Time with Achilles and shoulder injuries along the way.
With Bryant the leading vote-getter at this year’s All-Star Game in Toronto, he was asked about the biggest challenge in his 20th season with the Lakers. Although the 11-44 record is difficult, the five-time champion referenced his body and what it takes to get ready each game according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
Kobe was asked about biggest challenge of final season. He referenced his body and all that it takes to get it ready every single day.
— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) February 12, 2016
Since it requires a lot of preparation to get ready for each game, Bryant is comfortable with playing 10 minutes in his final All-Star Game according to Michael Lee of The Vertical:
Kobe Bryant on how many minutes he expects to play in his final #NBAAllStar game in Toronto: "I'll be good with 10."
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) February 12, 2016
With the farewell tour in full effect, Bryant’s final All-Star game will be a special one. Although there was debate if he should have been selected, fans around the world made it very clear that Bryant is deserving of his 18th appearance. In addition, it is expected that Bryant will be honored by the NBA and his peers.
Although Bryant and the Lakers have struggled this season, it has been nice to see the appreciation opposing fans have shown him. After the All-Star break, there will only be 27 games remaining in the season as Bryant looks to finish his career against the Utah Jazz on April 13 at Staples Center.