Kobe Bryant is known for being one of the most fierce competitors the NBA has ever seen. His belief in himself, that he could overcome anything, is what has led him to become one of the greatest NBA players of all-time.
At this point in his career, Kobe realizes he can’t do what he used to. According to ESPN’s Arash Markazi he admitted that while Kobe from five years ago could pick up this team, this version of Kobe can’t:
Kobe: "The Kobe from five years ago could have picked up this team by himself…physically I can't do that."
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) January 16, 2015
Five years ago, Kobe was in MVP form, leading the team to back-to-back NBA championships. However, the more comparable seasons would probably be the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Kobe led those Lakers teams to the playoffs despite players like Chris Mihm, Smush Parker and Kwame Brown being major contributors.
Now at the halfway point of the season, Kobe seems to be realizing his limitations and is picking his spots. He has become much more of a facilitator recently as evidenced by his career-high 17 assists in the loss to the Cavaliers.
Everyone’s body breaks down at some point and Kobe’s is starting to get to that point. Physically he isn’t able to do what he used to, but he is still one of the top players in the league thanks to his skill and intelligence. If the Lakers plan on turning this season around, it will have to be a true team effort as opposed to Kobe single-handedly carrying them.[divide]
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