As all of you probably know, this season will be Kobe Bryant’s last. After a long career filled with accolades and success, one of the greatest to ever play has decided to step away from the hardwood. Kobe’s one wish is to be able to say goodbye to as many fans as possible, and to finish the season on his feet.
However, at the pace he is being played, that might not happen.
The problem with Kobe in the final stages in his career is he is such a competitor that sitting out games to rest hurts him. But at 37 years old, his body can only handle so much. A re-aggravated injury to his Achilles tendon forcing him out of the Lakers’ game against the New Orleans Pelicans night was my breaking point.
So this is for Kobe and coach Byron Scott. Please, the fans beg of you. We want to see you as many nights as we possibly can. We want to see the Kobe that can take over a game with a few shots. We want to see an energized Kobe leading his teammates to a win over a rival squad. We can get all of that without seeing him play 30-35 minutes a night, though. He can still start, but please, play him less minutes.
Byron, we know it’s hard to tell Kobe no. He wants to play every single night, and play as much as he possibly can. But you need to draw the line. He can tell you he’s ready to go every night, but all of these minutes are clearly taking a toll on his body. On one night, he even stated that he was too tired to walk out to his car. That’s really not a good sign, and probably should have been the moment where you scaled him back. We know that these minutes are not sustainable, so please, limit him.
Fans around the country grew up watching all of the big moments, the titles, the greatness that he projected onto the league. If Kobe is injured due to playing big minutes every night because Byron thinks his body can handle it, then every fan who has bought a ticket for the rest of the season will miss out on the last chance to see potentially their favorite player of all-time, and one of the best to ever lace up Nikes.
We want to see Kobe have fun, cheering on his young teammates as they usher in a new era of Lakers. We want to see him make his ridiculous shots and big plays. But we understand that moderation is necessary at Kobe’s age. 20 minutes. That’s all we ask. 20 minutes a night to see one of the top five players of all time finish his career standing and proud.
Byron. Kobe. You need to understand this. There isn’t any chance the team is going to make the playoffs. With the way things are headed, the team will finish with one of the worst records in franchise history.
A farewell tour is nice, but it’s not a farewell tour if you aren’t there to say farewell.