A lot of people have speculated about Kobe Bryant’s future lately because of the injuries that he has sustained. He won’t play the rest of this season because of an injury, and he rarely played at full strength at all this year. He’s made it clear that he wants to be a Laker, but that may not be the best option for him to win a championship. Bryant recently said that he isn’t thinking about retirement, but instead, thinking about a career “rebirth.” He has gained a lot of inspiration from the San Antonio Spurs winning the championship last season with a group of aging veterans.
The difference between the Spurs and Bryant’s situation is that he simply doesn’t have anyone on his team that can make a consistent impact on the court. San Antonio is also a group of selfless players that will do anything to make their team and teammates better. It can be argued that Bryant is not that way.
I don’t think Bryant was hinting that he wants to play in San Antonio, or that he thinks the Lakers can be as good as the Spurs. Critics could have a field day with his comments depending on how they interpret them. Bryant may draw inspiration from the veteran Spurs, but his attitude and demeanor won’t allow his Lakers to get anywhere near the point the Spurs are right now.
The Spurs are good not because they are old. They are good because they have selfless players like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. In fact, Duncan restructured his contract to take less money so that the franchise could resign the key pieces from last year’s championship team. Have we ever seen Bryant make such a move?
Bryant is going to make a little over $23 million this season and will make $25 million next season. If he truly wants a “rebirth” in his career and make a run for another championship, he needs to show it instead of talk about it. Taking a pay cut would allow the franchise to sign one or two key free agents to plug some holes, in addition to the high draft pick that they should have.
Expert NBA picks insiders report that the Lakers could turn things around after having two high draft picks in consecutive years, but they are handcuffed by Bryant’s large contract. It’s his choice whether he wants to restructure his contract or not, but if he’s getting inspiration from the Spurs, then he’s focusing on the wrong aspects if he doesn’t do it. I have no reason to believe that he will restructure his deal, and I definitely wouldn’t bet my money on that happening. If that’s the case, then you can bet that the Lakers will be near the bottom of the standings again next year.
Bryant has proved in the past that you can never doubt him but although father time is catching up the NBA insiders would bet that the soon to be all-time 10 best players in NBA history will come back for two more years and finish his contract with the Lakers.