Kobe Bryant is known for taking notes of everyone who doubts him and what he will be able to do at his advanced age. Now that he is coming off two season-ending injuries, there are even more doubters for Kobe to try and prove wrong.
The latest comes in the form of Sports Illustrated, who ranked the top-100 players in the NBA. They ranked Bryant number 24, despite being number nine last season. The main reason for the drop, they would explain, is his age, and the unknown of whether he can regain his form:
Rivals would rather do just about anything than prematurely write off Bryant, out of respect to his work ethic and historical standing, but he’s reaching the point, age-wise, where few elite players have traveled […] getting back to his pre-injury form wouldn’t just be impressive; it would be virtually unprecedented.
Sports Illustrated placed Bryant right in between Al Horford and Derrick Rose, two other players who are also coming off of season-ending injuries. All three players will be looking to prove they are still amongst the NBA’s elite.
Bryant clearly has a long road to climb, but he is doing everything possible to prove that he can still be great. He has continued his legendary off-season workouts, even incorporating some of his younger teammates into his off-season plans.
Ultimately, Bryant ranked as the third highest shooting guard behind Dwyane Wade (20th) and James Harden (13th). The ranking of Wade, who by all accounts is in a much similar place in his career as Bryant, is sure to ruffle some feathers, but that’s just more fuel on the fire for Bryant.[divide]
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