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Kobe Bryant says he will not be same player as before, says he’s evolved into something equally good

Aug 20, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, admitting he’s old in basketball terms. He knows he put some hard miles on that body.

He also knows he’s coming off the kinds of injuries that can dramatically slow if not end a career — a ruptured Achilles two seasons ago, then a knee injury last year.

But his game has evolved over the years, from the explosive young Kobe of the Shaq era who could pretty much get to the rim and dunk at will, to the guy with the fantastic post moves and studied game of the last few years.

Now he says its time to evolve again in the article written by Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated.

“So when I hear pundits and people talk, saying, ‘Well, he won’t be what he was.’ Know what? You’re right. I won’t be. But just because something evolves, it doesn’t make it any less better than it was before,” Bryant said.

Vintage Bryant. Use the doubters and naysayers to fuel you. Back when he didn’t have many doubters he’d create straw men to get angry about as fuel (Jordan did the same thing).

But now Kobe has plenty of doubters. Ones who question how good he can be. Ones who question how good the Lakers can be (I’m in this group). Ones writing off him and his team.

If he proves us wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time.

  1. reesesteel23 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Well I’m one of those doubters. Prove me wrong though Kobe. It’ll make for a great season(to watch) if you do.

    • money2long - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Hahah. How can u doubt Kobe? My goodness. He knows himself. And he knows when it will be quits. Why in he world would Kobe put himself out there if he’s done ? U must not know Kobe. Foolish onlookers.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:43 PM

        Kobe is going to hang on to his playing career as long as his legs will let him. I mean, what’s left for him after that? No way he’ll accept a coaching job. Maybe front office, but that’s probably a couple years off.

  2. harshedmellow - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    He can wish he hadn’t gone brittle in one hand and poop in the other and see which one fills up first.

  3. saint1997 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    I think my favourite player is a 2 guard who can post up. Even just a guard in general, but it adds so much versatility to an offence. Kobe, Mitch Richmond, MJ, DWade, Steve Smith – nearly every great 2 guard scorer could either shoot lights out, or they had the versatility to post up

    • duhwighthoward - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      Is Ben Gordon your favourite player?

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:45 PM

        Ben Gordon posted up pretty efficiently on my Bobcats bench, right next to DeSagana Diop. Gordon averaged something like $2 million per crunch time minute played that year.

  4. loungefly74 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    I think Kobe will have respectful numbers…20 PPG, 4 RPG, 3 APG. If anyone has the desire to come back as best they can, its the Mamba.

    • money2long - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      Do u see this team ? Kobe will top those predictions easily.

      • loungefly74 - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:17 PM

        he could easily, agree. i was being conservative.

  5. 202folife - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    Damaged goods, he should’ve rode off in the sunset after last season’s injury. Instead he’ll be Hakeem in a Raptors jersey or Ewing in a Sonics jersey. A mere shadow of his former self. Dude won’t average 20pts per this season while shooting 40% from the field. Sad.

    • money2long - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      1 season off and people forget. Someone please remember this fool’s name.

      • 202folife - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:35 AM

        Yo money2long, just by watching you respond to every negative (but true) about Kobe proves you’re blinded by your faness to the dude. LOL! If you would stop swinging from Kobe’s sack for a second you’d realize a ruptured achilles has ruined many a career for dudes in their 20’s. Kobe is 34 and is officially washed. I’m gonna really enjoy watching the youngins yank and blast by him on the court the next 2 seasons.

    • musician0785 - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      clearly you didnt watch kobe in ANY of the games last year in 6 games he averaged 21 shooting 50% and that was coming off of achilles surgery…but hey, troll on if you must

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:48 PM

        *13.8 points, 42.5% shooting

        Fixed that for you.

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:42 PM

        @musician0785, Are you on Kobe’s payroll?

        Or just on his Nutz?

      • musician0785 - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:42 AM

        It was meant to say in the 3 wins the lakers had while he was playing… mistake

  6. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    However good he is- Lakers still lottery bound for the next two years.

  7. upperdecker19 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    He’s hardcore!

    Steve Ballmer

  8. ocgunslinger - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Like your considered innocent until proven guilty….Kobe will have to demonstrate he DOESN’T have it before I write this guy off. He will continue to be one of the strengths of the team and a team leader.

  9. 1friendofthepeople - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    I think Kobe goes in the direction D-Wade has gone by making his game more efficient. He still will do a little more scoring than D-Wade though. Kobe is a better jump shooter than him and has a 3pt shot. Wade has still been effective despite his chronic knee problem because he plays smart, that’s something Kobe should be able to do as long as his body doesn’t betray him.

  10. cruzan80 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    I’m definitely not one of those doubters.

    At 34 years of age the guy had a season averages of 27.3 PPG, .463 FG%, 6.0 AST & 5.6 REBS. He played & started in 78 games & lead the league in MPG (38.6) that season as well.

    What’s most impressive about all those #’s is the fact that he didn’t do it by being faster or jumping higher than most of his opponents like he did most of his career. He did it mostly from below the rim. Finesse & smart plays…fundamentals.

    Personally, I hate Kobe…but I’m not gonna make myself sound like a moron by trying to convince people to ignore what their eyes see & believe me when I say he actually sucks. Anyone who has one once of love for basketball has to respect Kobe’s game. I’m probably in the minority here but I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if he easily averaged 20+ PPG & shot over 45% this season.

  11. glaglaboy - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Kobe’s body is done . you just can’t fight nature . your intellect remains but no one so far has been able to fight old age. He’s so special he’s still goin to be the best pl

  12. glaglaboy - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Kobe’s body is done . you just can’t fight nature . your intellect remains but no one so far has been able to fight old age. He’s so special he’s still goin to be the best player of his team though. But the real Kobe is gone forever

  13. golfrangeman - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    @music what kinda crack you smoking?Kobe last year 42.5% from the floor 13.5 ppg.

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