The last two years have been rough to say the least for Kobe Bryant. As if going down with a torn Achilles tendon back in 2013 wasn’t bad enough for a player over 30, Kobe suffered a knee fracture the following season resulting in only six games played and concerns surrounding his immediate future with the Los Angeles Lakers.
At 36, Kobe will head into his 19th NBA season next month determined to win a sixth NBA championship. The odds are definitely not in Kobe’s favor, but the superstar remains confident he’s got a shot at sixth ring in the final two years of his career.
Although Kobe suffered a major setback suffering the severe knee injury back in December of last year, the five-time NBA champion let it be known that setbacks are part of overcoming obstacles and conquering challenges. Kobe said the following during the Nike RISE campaign in China, via KobeTeam.com:
”Hopefully it’ll inspire them to understand that overcoming is part of the deal, part of living. When you are faced with those types of challenges, you have two options, one you can shy away from it, do nothing about it or you can rise to the challenge. Doesn’t matter if you are a basketball player or a writer, we all have obstacles, hopefully what we’ll do here is inspire everyone else to do the same.”
The Lakers will head into the 2014-15 NBA season with low expectations. New head coach Byron Scott wants the team to have championship aspirations, as does Kobe, but on paper it appears highly unlikely this team can contend in a highly competitive Western Conference.
Kobe will play alongside quite a few new faces next season with the additions of Jeremy Lin, Ed Davis and Carlos Boozer. Rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson have also been added to the mix in Los Angeles.
With the Lakers yet to play a game, it is too early to rule out Kobe and company as a force in the West. It is a stretch to say the Lakers can contend with the top tier teams in the conference, but anything is possible with a motivated Kobe leading the way.[divide]
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