With the 2014/2015 NBA season only a few weeks away, the sports pages have been full of stories about the more newsworthy teams. One topic of conversation that never seems to go away is Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard is now 36 years old and coming off the back of two serious injuries. His team may be irrelevant in terms of the Championship picture, but that has not stopped the stories about Bryant.
Many within the NBA now believe that Kobe Bryant is holding back the Lakers. Keith Mann and I have been fans of the NBA for some time, and we totally agree with the experts. Kobe is past it. A recent report in ESPN highlighted that Bryant was the reason why a lot of free agents chose to pass on LA as a possible destination. None of these insiders revealed their names, but the sources from ESPN are usually impeccable.
Bryant has also been accused of letting the Lakers continue to slump for two more years so that he could get a big contract. The veteran was given a two year $48 million extension at the start of last season. His first year on that contract was a complete bust. Bryant barely made it through ten games before suffering an injury and missing the rest of the season.
Now that he is fully healthy, Bryant will be expected to reach previous levels of production. Except most experts think he will not manage that. An unnamed NBA assistant coach said that he was “washed up”. This assistant coach believes that Bryant will put up good numbers against mediocre teams, but that he will suffer when playing the teams that matter.