Kobe Bryant went under the knife recently to repair his torn rotator cuff, his third season ending injury in three season. It started when Kobe blew out his Achilles tendon a few seasons back. It took an entire season for the 5 time NBA Champ to come back from that injury; and a few games after his return he tore a ligament in his knee, once again ending his season.
Instead of retiring, the 36 year old superstar who has spent half of his life in the NBA decided he would make a comeback. Kobe returned for the 2014-2015 NBA season, and he had been doing fantastic. The aging All Star was averaging over 20 points per game on the struggling Los Angeles Lakers, and he had even earned a starting position on the 2015 NBA Western Conference All Star team. Now, due to a torn rotator cuff, Bryant will be out until September.
No doubt Kobe will be back, in fact he has already told reporters that he plans to come back for the 2015-2016 NBA season in September; but is it about time that Kobe calls it quits? Even Shaq knew when it was time to retire.
The question isn’t really whether or not Kobe is getting to old, he showed us this season that he can still play at a high level. The real question is what does he hope to acquire by coming back for another season or two?
Although he was actually drafted to the Charlotte Hornets, Kobe hasn’t played a professional basketball game for any team other than the Lakers. At his age there would be no point in changing teams: no good teams in the NBA could afford Kobe’s massive price tag, and leaving would only hurt his legacy in Los Angeles.
Michael Jordan had a short stint with the Washington Wizards at the end of his career, but it didn’t amount to anything. Having the best player of all time on a team does not automatically make the team a championship contender, especially if that super star is in his late 30s at that time.
With the clock winding down on Kobe’s time left in the NBA, it might be about time he starts to consider retirement. No one wants to go out on an injury, but no one wants to keep playing too long and have a horrible last season either.