This season has been another classic in the Hall of Fame career of Kobe Bryant. Not only is Kobe defying odds by holding off Father Time, but he has fought through numerous injuries and is currently leading the league in scoring (28.1 ppg) this season at 33-years-old. Even though Kobe’s age doesn’t seem on the high side like other superstars (Steve Nash, 38), there are a lot of miles on those legs with the Black Mamba playing in the NBA since the age of 17.
Along with playing in the league for almost half of his life, Kobe has also been one of the few players that have gone to the NBA Finals seven times during his career. That is one more than Michael Jordan and Kobe still has two more years to reach MJ (35) before he retired from the game.
Needless to say, Kobe Bryant is a machine!
There seems to be no stopping the Black Mamba in his relentless pursuit of a sixth NBA championship. Even though there are still doubters saying that Kobe is over-the-hill and doesn’t belong in the NBA MVP race this season with the likes of Kevin Durant and LeBron James, Lakers head coach Mike Brown continues to support his superstar via Janis Carr of The Orange County Register:
“Obviously I’m biased like most coaches would be about their guys,” Brown said. “But I still believe that Kobe should be one of the top guys, the top three mentioned. His name should be bantered around.”
“A lot of people, before the season I felt, had written off a guy like Kobe,” Brown said. “So for Kobe to be playing at the level he is playing now and for the team to have the sort of success we’ve had so far, when you compared it to the other teams and where they sit and their continuity … I believe Kobe’s name should be mentioned right there (with the others.)”
There is no question that Kevin Durant and LeBron James have had MVP-caliber seasons and are deserving of the award at season’s end, but it would be hard to argue that Kobe Bryant hasn’t had the toughest challenge this season of any superstar in the league. Kobe may have his faults this season and shooting 43 percent from the field is a big one, but he definitely deserves to be in the conversation.