Blogtable: Lakers’ swan song?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Is this the swan song for the Lakers? Or is Jerry West just being sly about L.A. being too old to play D?

Steve Aschburner: Hahahahahahahaha! We’ve heard this song before, right? Maybe Jerry West was being sincere, but he is a known worrier who tends toward pessimism. Even when the Lakers hit hard times, they don’t last long because something special, something big comes along to fix things fast. Like Wilt, Kareem and Shaq in the middle. Like Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Pas Gasol in the past. Like, um, Dwight Howard in the future? To me, worrying about the Lakers is like fretting about the estate tax: A pretty posh level of hands-wringing.

Fran Blinebury: Yes, the Lakers are getting older.  Yes, they are getting slower.  Yes, their margin for error has gotten slimmer.  Yes, they may have to win a Game 7 on the road in order to accomplish a three-peat.  However, if Andrew Bynum can finally stay healthy all the way through the playoffs — yes, that might be a reach — and gain confidence, the Lakers still have the frontline size and talent, not to mention Kobe, to claw their way to another Larry O’Brien Trophy.  Yes, it might take an MVP performance from Ron Artest‘s psychiatrist.

Art Garcia: It’s the Logo, so I don’t discount anything he says. I admire that the Lakers, especially Kobe Bryant, understand that criticism is going to come from everywhere. Even at times from franchise icons like Mr. Clutch and Magic Johnson. Remember, West traded for Kobe all those years ago and the respect remains between the two. Kobe doesn’t have to agree with West and he said so last night. I also don’t believe this is a swan song. Champs do lose some of their edge as the years pass, but that hasn’t stopped some from squeezing out another threepeat. See: Phil’s Bulls and Lakers.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Jerry West isn’t being sly. Jerry West is being Jerry West. He’s a stress machine of historic proportions – not as much as when he was on the job, but plenty still – he wants the Lakers to do well, he lives much of the year in L.A. and hears what people there are saying, and he is caught up in it. Yes, the Lakers are aging. But they’re not too old. Statistics back it up.

Shaun Powell: The biggest obstacle for the Lakers is trying to stay motivated through 82 games. Please. Wake me in spring, when Kobe‘s eyes are twitching, and tell me again what the Lakers are incapable of doing.

John Schuhmann: I think they’re still a pretty good defensive team, ranking eighth in efficiency despite only getting 22 games from Andrew Bynum thus far. They were in a similar spot last year and eventually out-defended the Celtics in the Finals (they won the series shooting less than 42 percent). Obviously, Kobe and Fisher are old, but Artest is still one of the best wing defenders in the league and their length inside makes up for the lack of quickness on the perimeter. As long as they’re focused and healthy, I think they’ll be good enough defensively this year. Going forward, it’s obviously all about how well Kobe holds up on both ends of the floor.

Sekou Smith: Jerry West wasn’t necessarily being sly. The Lakers do have 10 players on the roster 30 or older and this is supposed to be Phil Jackson‘s last season as coach, so on paper you would have to believe that they are on the backside of their championship chase. But they haven’t played long enough with a healthy Andrew Bynum for anyone to be able to judge their defensive prowess as a unit. Come playoff time I expect the Lakers to pose the same sorts of problems they have for opposing teams the past few seasons with their long and athletic frontcourt crew of Bynum, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest all locked in on the defensive end.

63 Comments

  1. [...] Blogtable: Lakers' swan song? « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog [...]

  2. yingyang24 says:

    to all who underestimate the heart of a champion.
    Success without failure is like winning without pride

    LAKER PRIDE

  3. Kailly says:

    You can keep kicking it around about Kobe Bryant being too old, or Andrew Bynum not being healthy, or Derrick Fisher not even being in the zone. But, what concerns me most is what Management is doing about replacements. When in war if the First Line goes down then the Second Line steps forward. So far, Kobe Bryant has been a part of that First Line, and they have held the [Fort] many years. But, pretty soon one after the other will be falling or bowing out.

    Therefore, I ask, how is the Second Line and Third Line looking? You don’t wait until everyone is gone before you have a few good men waiting in the wings.

    WESTWARD HO!

  4. Evan says:

    I just want to say: if KENDRICK PERKINS getting injured was what ruined Boston’s chances at a title, then Boston maybe needs to rethink their lineup. Just like making your shots and playing tenacious defense, staying healthy is an important attribute as well, and it’s not Kobe or the Lakers’ fault that Boston couldn’t do that.

  5. silk34 says:

    see yall in june haters lakers 3 peat lol lol lol lol

  6. mjthegoat says:

    for a season i meant. This clown has more 50 point games shooting under 50% than anyone else LOL total D.bag. No wonder Phil wants to retire.

    • trufan24 says:

      get off jordan’s nutz already jeez!!! No one has ever come close to Jordan more than Kobe and you know it, you just cant accept it…..leave the 90s already

  7. mjthegoat says:

    LOL Kobe tries to be like mike jacks up 28 shots and LAKERS lose to an awful KINGS team at home LOL!!!!!!!! Hilarious he aint even half of what MJ was, talking like he could average 40 a game when he has never even hit 50% of his FG’s lol what a dumbass.

  8. Sid Wallker says:

    This may be the swan song for this Laker team, but not even close for the Laker organization (I know, I’ve been a fan since 1965 and have been rewarded w/ 11 titles…sweet). The Lakersknow how to retool & rebuild. In their 60+ year history, they have only missed the playoffs 5 times, have gone to the finals 31 times, and won the title 16 times.

    Don’t be surprised to see 2 of the following players in Laker blue & gold in 2-3 years: D. Howard, B. Griffin, &/or D. Williams

  9. vish says:

    It’s ridiculous that people still talk about Perkins injury. No team is ever healthy in the finals. They all have injuries and they deal with it. Who’s to say that if Bynum was 100% healthy last year the series would even have gone 7 games? How do we know that Perkins wouldn’t have hurt the Celtics offense more than he would have helped their rebounding? Would the Celtics have even won three years ago if Bynum was playing? No one knows the answers to these questions. All we can go on is what happened and what happened is the Lakers beat the Celtics. End of story.

  10. Mike says:

    Again I will say this, yes Kobe is climbing the charts in all time minutes played but what people fail to realize is that he has prepared himself throughout his career to sustain his high level of production even though he is aging in years as well as minutes logged. His athleticism is declining like any other older players would but because Kobe has worked so much on his fundamentals they are better than ever and he can now rely on those to produce on any given night unlike most veterans who just relied on physical abilities throughout their career. You can see this in Kobe’s numbers on the season, he is 6th in the league in scoring and only 66th in the league in minutes per game.He’s basically averaging career numbers on less shots and minutes per game. Trust me when I say Phil, Kobe and the rest of the Lakers are doing exactly what the other veteran teams are doing…monitoring minutes, pacing themselves until the playoffs while still winning games. You can count on the so called old teams (Boston, LA, Miami, San Antonio) to be there when the playoffs roll around.

  11. Charles Bailey says:

    All of my predecessors writing their views on the Laker’s ability to 3peat due to their current age have valid points of view. Some of the Lakers are certainly coming to the end of their careers, but other contending teams are in the same condition at this stage of timing. Laker management did take the right steps at the end of this past season to strenghthen the team, knowing what was coming this season. Contenders, like the Spurs, and Celtics, have about the same mixture of players near the end of their careers, players in the prime of their careers and young up and coming stars, yet to make their full mark. I believe all the contending teams from the past season have improved their teams, just as the Lakers did and this is why we have playoffs, to determine who is the greatest.
    As to Kobe, he has taken longer to round into playing condition this year, due the fact that he took more time off from the sport in the off season to enjoy some things he usually passes up on in prior seasons. Then not having as much time to round into shape, (the finger, that will never be one hundred percent ) (the surgery on the knee), adapting to these abnormalities in learning to handle the ball and shoot have taken its toll on his beginning of the season. He couldn’t shoot very well, missed a lot of shots in practically every game, as well as free throws, which is mainly due to the damaged index finger, but he is beginning to round into playing condition and I believe he will continue to improve throughout the remainder of the season. It remains to be seen how much improvement will be required from him to lead the team to a 3peat or not. Like any other human being, his skills will continue to decline next season, as his body deteriorates, year after year. In my personal opinion, Kobe’s shooting skills will never again be the same as they were, due to the damaged index finger, that he has to deal with in deviating from his past and normal shooting skills. His doctors have determined that he will have to continue playing with the damaged finger. But Kobe being one of the greatest players of all time, wilh a heart as great as any, ever to play the game, will continue with the greatest competition, as he has done throughout his illustrious career. Charles Bailey Jan. 28 2011

    • LOL says:

      No Kobe has NO heart like the GOAT Michael Jordan. NO comparison.

      • Tektonic says:

        LOL, on every post you just keep saying “Kobe is old and has no legs,” “kobe is no comparison to jordan.” yet you barely elaborate or explain yourself…weak sauce! come up with some sort of backing or shutup. And if you’re going to talk about heart, no player in the league right now has or plays with more heart than Kobe. When the Lakers struggle you can always depend on Kobe to put 110%….maybe you should actually watch the games instead of just reading about it.

      • LOL says:

        @Tektonic

        Ive been watching basketball since the early 80s thank you.

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  13. LOBSANGRAMPA says:

    love the way everyone is into this topic….lets see how it all ends..and remember, an injury could ruin it all for any championship hopes

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  15. Denise says:

    Not worried about LA or Celtics! these are vet teams that know that its the pace of the race, seeding, and health mental and physical of overall team. KB, KG Tim are not stupid, they know they are getting older, yet their smarts and skill are vastly superior over most at their postion…… the second part fo the season is the funnest, time for the teams to make statements!

  16. Kobe Bryant 8 24 5 81 says:

    Lakers will win Kobe will be considered the 3rd best player of all time and Phil Jackson will retire the best coach of all time. If you reply to this message please make sure you have an argument and facts thank you very much and have your self a nice day.

    • Macuca says:

      Good call ! but he could go as high as second best player for awhile , there are to many youngsters out there that never got see the old legends and only got the tail end of Jordan.

  17. kikz says:

    Lakers will just be fine. Their experienced as world champion(s) will make them always the team to beat. I’d like to see Lakers and Celtics again in the finals comes June ’11. And you know what? It’s the Lakers 3-peat in a classic game series… Go Lakers…

  18. Spurs-jhunnex- says:

    yah the lakers are old team like the Spurs and Celtics, but seeing those teams on top of the rankings “its quite cool”those youngsters have a lot of years to catch up with these SuperB teams they are really the Teams to Beat… and for the Miami ,Bulls ,Knicks ,OKc they are going to see these teams keep winning until the prime stars of celts,lakers and spurs retires…i cant w8 for the finals ( Celts Vs Spurs) or maybe lakers?….but miami still a team to consider

  19. Common Sense says:

    Age is a factor as far as quickness. But when it comes to winning games and championships it is not as much of a factor as people think. Also, tell me the last time a veteran team DID NOT win the Finals. The truth is this, The Lakers will be where they need to be and make a push after the allstar break to get homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs. Plus nobody is saying anything about the Celtics age either and with all of those bigs they do have i still don’t think they can match the Lakers frontline skill-wise. This will be an interesting playoffs this year see you in June when the “Old Guys” will be playing.

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  22. Steven says:

    The Lakers will be fine just fine come playoff time, but they are going to have their hands full with San Antonio. That squad is no less experienced than the Lakers and if the Three Amigos are healthy the Lakers have no clear advantage (and a very critical disadvantage when it come to the PG spot, FIsher can’t stay in front of Tony Parker.)

    • Macuca says:

      San Antonio is great and it will be hard to beat San Antonio but Parker cannot beat the lakers seven games defence and the Lakers bigs will prevail in seven.

  23. bongskie2jr says:

    hahaha! c u in june pal! hope ur team can make it through d play-offs and even though they can make it, they we’ll still end up SHORT! and that’s b-coz of age! fyi: kobe has been playing in d finals HALF of his career! now that’s OLD he is!

  24. Macuca says:

    Kobe is not old yet , we will see who is healthy come Playoff time , I believe it will be Lakers and Boston Again and the Celtics feel that also and are playing for home court advantage starting now but still conserving their aging stars for the playoffs . Also we must remember that Kobe was injured and played injured in the Finals with a broken finger and a bad knee as well as Bynum and still won . If the Lakers stay healthy the Lakers should take it . The Celtics are much older in there over all lineups then the Lakers. It will be a Great Finals again ! Miami will be there soon , but they need to get a true center to break teams down inside than out followed by strong drives by Wade and Lebron but it won’t be this year . They must have a better showing then the Cavs or Miami last year to lure such a center to South Beach. And as for the swan song thing the Lakers will recruit like always and get a Big Name, it is the Lakers and it is La after all . A team that knows how to win and does what it needs to ,to do so. More regularly than any other franchise Period . Yes even more regularly than the Celtics out side of the sixties and even then it was almost always against the Lakers. Lakers in Seven in BOSTON , See you in June!

    • LOL says:

      Kobe is MOST DEFINITELY OLD.

    • Jason says:

      Your crazy Kobe didnt and doesnt have a broken finger LOL. He may have a troubling knee but his finger is fine when he’s shooting ok now isn’t it? Yea you Kobe fans WON”T have it both ways. Also the Celtics had players not playing at 100% of their own like KG. So PLEASE, Lakers won the Finals SOLEY because Perkins went down. Any idiot could watch the last game compared to the others and know this.

      • Macuca says:

        You give to much credit to much credit to perkins , perkins is not even one of the best centers he is a big body that is it!
        Boston is a great team KG , Allen those are players Shaq was a player those guys are remembered Perkins , who is he ? If you loose Russell Bird , KG , Allen or even the Oscar winning Pierce you can have that but Perkins , Sell that in Boston cause no one else is buying it.

      • Jason says:

        @Macuca

        NO I don’t. He doesn’t even have to be a premier center, his size is what they need. Why do you think ALOT of PROFESSIONAL analysts and sportswriters after he went down in Game 6 automatically handed the Lakers the title? LOL. I’m not a Lakers OR a Celtics fan but as I said any idiot could watch those games and see how much EASIER it was for the Lakers frontline to both score and rebound, please. What I’m selling is what ALOT of people have already bought sorry bout it.

      • Tektonic says:

        Anyone trying ti dis-credit the lakers of their championship is just a hater and mad, plain and simple. Yes, when a key player goes out it can change the outcome of the game and yes, Perkins was a key players for Boston. However Perkins was probably their lowest key player to lose. Whether he played or not the Celtics most likely would have lost, but it’s impossible to say. Lakers won, Celtics lost…GET OVER IT.

      • Jason says:

        @ Tektonic

        Im not hating the Lakers, simply stating a FACT that Perkins did NOT play. Sorry that you can’t accept THAT though. As I said there will ALWAYS be an asterisk beside the 2010 Lakers title. Any IDIOT could see the Celtics were the better team and Perkins made the difference in that game. Bottom line.

  25. Angel_Killer says:

    It is not Kobe, he is a very good scorer, yes, but it’s Bynum who carries them, Just like Shaq before. Bynum is Batman and Kobe is his sidekick. lol..

  26. nbaguy2010 says:

    I think that while it maybe true that the lakers are getting old, I don’t think that effects them at all. Kobe is getting old, slightly, but hes is still super effective and still a great scorer and defender ( mainly because he now relays mainly on skill and basketball iq more then physical talent). Paul isn’t old and to me it feels as if he hasn’t even played to his full potential yet, bynum isn’t old and is finally healthy, and lamar is playing well this year old or not . So I feel lakers are still as strong as a team as the were in the last 2 years. Defenisvely I feel jerry west realizing that they are not as fast as other teams (even though they never really used to out run teams before ) maybe just bought into the hype of run and gun Miami heat team when he made that statement. Yes the lakers are a bit old but there real east coast rival (and mostlikey finals opponent) is just as old…..so see all you who feel they are old in April

  27. JSlikk says:

    Kobe Aging is an idiot. Kobe Bryant along with (older cast) are simply pacing themselves. They are NOT young players anymore they cannot play every single regular season like its their last AND give it all in the play offs. they are not young like the Miami Heat or New York Knicks or Chicago Bulls etc. but notice those same teams I have mentioned WILL NOT win the title over veteran teams such as the Lakers or Spurs or Celtics. Imagine what putting up 40 a night would do for Kobe, it would put a much higher risk of injury among other things. Kobe said himself best. If he didnt have the help he has NOW he would put up 40-50 points a game but he HAS such help so there is NO need to do that. Why waste energy when you dont have to in the REGULAR SEASON???

    • LOL says:

      PLEASE..Kobe put up 40-50 a game now? LMAO. He can’t even get 40-50 once every 5 to 10 games like he could just a couple years ago. He cant WASTE what he DON’T have, which is young fresh legs.

      • NYKnicksAmare! says:

        wat do u mean by “cant even”?!? he was one of the ONLY players ever and btw the nba single game scoring high of this yr is blake griffin and kevin durant w/ 47. last yr (i pretty sure but could be wrong) kevin martin and brandon jennings were the only players to score over 50 and the yr b4 that kobe dropped 61

  28. Mr Sensible says:

    Theres nobody in the league that is capable of holding a team to 55 points……and win by over 50 points at the same time!! Sure teams are capable of shutting teams down…..but to be efficient as well on the offensive end??? Lakers are a deep team. The Celtics are a deep team, but if people break down why they are deep, its because every role player can bring multiple things to the table…Miami stacked their team with players that all do the exact same thing….their stars all need the ball to make a play, and their role players can only shoot…..and their centre’s are so different in style that it varies game to game who they play….which is hard to develop a rythm. I think that is the difference between Lakers and San Antonio…Lakers in 6.

    • Sandile says:

      Exactly!!!!!!! the age old tradition, mature like wine the more u age. so the Lakers are focused on being healthy for the playoff run, then come spring we can talk about how efficient they will turn out. for now, get a healthy bench and the rest shall follow. all these quick young defenders wwill burn out come playoff series. Loook at Boston.Point to ponder. last year who played in the finals?????? u got that right the teams with the oldest players on the roster we playing for that elusive trophy LBJ is in search off.

    • LOL says:

      LMAO. PLEASE, your talking about the Lakers beating the sorry down and out CAVS, the worst team in the league, who start 2 D League type talents, and who didn’t want any part of that game after the ball was tipped. What a ridiculouse example!! Then you say Miami’s stars all need the ball to make a play. Why dont you try actually watchin them before you make an absurd comment like that? Wow.

  29. Matt Lee says:

    We ALL know that the Lakers show up big in April.
    We ALL know this.
    It’ll be harder for us than the last 2 years but it’s very within reach.

    LET’S GO LAKERS!

  30. Pavel CZ says:

    Hi all

    again have to agree with Shaun…I saw a couple of LA games and when they really want to win, they often do so…Motivation is a BIG factor, they want to stay healthy and be ready when the time counts….! Yes they are aging, but look at other older players..even KG nad Ray-Ray or Shaq knows the time of the year whem things counts become in April, when you have to be focused and on the MISSION…

    We can see another NBA Classic this year, but I have to say I´m leaning towards the more HUNGRY Green Team!! I saw GAme 7 last year and was almost sure after halftime that Celts will go for it… They had many chances to extend their lead, didn´t do so…We all know the outcome..

    This year is Celtics time (sorry South Beach Superfriends)

    • LOL says:

      Yea Lakers ONLY won because of Perkins going down. A win by 4 was a ridiculous showing by the Lakers. Doc Rivers STILL right that the Celtics 08 championship starting five has never been beat yet.

      • Macuca says:

        Doc is an Idiot for that Quote! Bynum was injured and so was Kobe , Excuses are excuses for failure! 08 Boston Celtics were put together for that run,and there time was and is limited that is why they had to bring in some youth. Excuses are like a holes and boston has a lot of them!

      • LOL says:

        @Macuca

        Excuses aren’t excuses for failure thats ridiculous. As I said any idiot could watch those NBA Finals last year and actually SEE the IMPACT that Perkins had on the frontline game. Yea tell me how easily you can move his 6 10 280 pounds of solid muscle. Yea thats what I thought. Him not being there made such a HUGE difference in the game. Bynum and Kobe still played though, Perkins did NOT.

      • Eastwood says:

        It’s always funny to me when folks say it was only because of Perkins going down that the Lakers won the series last year. The Lakers were down 13 in the 3rd quarter. One man does not make a championship squad. Now, if Pierce were down, then we’d have an argument here.

        Considering the Lakers were not nearly as dominant a team as they looked on paper, the Celtics–with the veterans they had–should have been able to pull out a victory…with or without KP.

  31. Kobe Aging says:

    Kobe can TSK ALL HE WANTS at Jerry West. But Kobe CANnot and WILLnot defeat Father Time. Too bad Kobe, you had a good run, now its time for other younger players to shine. Those tired 37-38 year old legs aren’t going to last for anymore than another good run at the title this year, and thats it. Enjoy your past your prime years Kobe, its alright, every player has to play through them.

    • Mike says:

      When did Kobe turn 37-38?? Last I checked he was what, 32-33 years old? That being said, he’s one of the best conditioned athletes in the league so he’s still got plenty left. Also the age of the team in general is a little misleading because some of those older players barely see playing time (ratliff, smith). Plus, the Lakers do not play an uptempo style of basketball, especially in the playoffs, they slow it down and grind it out just like the Celtics do so they don’t necessarily need the younger players like a Suns team would. Also what the Lakers lack in speed and quickness they make up for in basketball IQ and understanding their roles. Their inside length also helps make up for any guard penetration.

      • j-wizz says:

        couldn’t have said it better myself Mike. Regardless of what team you support the lakers and celtics are still the teams to beat and we’re likely to see another la-boston final because the heat can’t battle with the celtics bigs in the playoffs, likewise with the spurs.

      • Kobe Aging says:

        No Mike, I guess I need to explain then don’t I? You think that the number of birthdays tells a players true age in basketball years, like thats the be all end all? You think theres no other variables that numbers provide? Please. You need to learn a lil somethin then.

        The fact of the matter is Father Time tugs a little harder everyday on Kobe’s shoestrings, and Kobe can NO LONGER on a REGULAR basis carry a team. Ok, fans will say he doesn’t need to when WHAT? LA is WINNING. When they are LOSING, then he DOES. Thats EXACTLY how it works I see people say it all the time. Alot of people will tell you one of the very first things to go after a quick first step is CONSISTENCY, especially with All-Stars/Superstars, where its even more noticeable. He’s not gonna be able to perform at that All-Star level on a CONSISTENT basis, game in and game out. They will still be at a decently regular rate for the remainder of the season, and possibly the Lakers may still win the title, who knows, only time will tell. But next season we will begin hearing the announcers talk about Kobe like they are now with other players PAST their prime and in decline. “Kobe turnin back the clock” and “Vintage Kobe” will be two of the most frequently used. Heck, we even hear some of that NOW.

        Most people know that Kobe may be 32 1/2 in years, but his body and more specifically his LEGS are ALOT older than that. Kobe has now played 38,905 minutes as of Jan 27th, 2011 . This places him 29th overall in NBA HISTORY, and he’s at a point in the list where he is quickly climbing. The Lakers have 36 games remaining. At his current 33 MPG he will have approximately 40,092 minutes at the end of season. This will place him 20th or 21st in History. However surprising that may be to some of you, lets look at it in another way also. Michael Jordan recorded 41,010 minutes. If Kobe continues at his current 33 MPG average, which after his first 2 years is the lowest of his career, he only needs 64 more games to amass as many minutes as MJ. REGULAR SEASON minutes. MJ played until he was 40, minus 2 1/2, 3 years in between his 2 retirements. We then look at his PLAYOFF minutes, and Kobe is *5th* in NBA HISTORY currently. He will pass Karl Malone after 97 more minutes in the first round of this years playoffs for fourth place behind only Kareem, Scottie Pippen, and Shaq. Playoff minutes are brutal minutes. So putting that in persepective, 3, just *3* ?! other players in HISTORY have played more in the playoffs than Kobe. When I calculated further with his current career average playoff MPG of 39.4 he needs only approximately 27 more playoff games to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s #1 mark. That could happen even this year if the Lakers went 7 games for all four series, but much more likely to be next season’s playoffs.

        So to now finally get to my absolute point of what that all means is that he will need only approximately 1/3 of next season to have played as many career minutes as MJ. I am only comparing Kobe to MJ in this regard (because MJ is far superior to KB) because their playing styles are similar, as opposed to comparing Kobes minutes to Wilts or Russells or some other big men who take even more of a beating. So Kobe will be 33 then next season. MJ was 40 when he retired. Yes again MJ took a rounded off 3 years away from the game between his 2 retirements, so even if you subtract that it still puts Kobes legs at about 37 years old. Every season that goes by this will be magnified. Also do not forget the multiple Olympic summers that he has played, as they take a HUGE toll on your body because it allows it VERY little time to recuperate and rest during the offseason. Kobe even said he’s planning on playing next year for the 2012 London Olympics. He can DEFINITELY kiss his championship hopes goodbye when he does that after next season.

        So many people apparently fail to realize that you simply cannot look at a players age and deduce that “welllll he’s 32 and juuuuuust on the downside of his prime” because prime is defined by most experts in sports as between 27 and 32. You have to go behind the number of birthdays a player has had, and examine their minutes and other variables to be able to at least get something CLOSE to their TRUE physical basketball age. Kobe is NOT washed up, but is indeed, whether avid Kobe fans want to admit it or not, in VISIBLE DECLINE, and needs his teammates help more than ever. You can ALSO point to his MUCH lower 3PT% and BPG this year as evidence that his legs just aren’t there like they were.

        What I believe West really meant is just what I said in the fact that Kobe AND the Lakers are too old to play defense on a REGULAR basis like they could the past 2 or 3 years, bottom line.

    • NYKnicksAmare! says:

      yah dude u got 2 get ur facts straight hes only 32. mj played untill 38/39 and alltime scoring leader kareem had a 20 yr career kobes only in his 15th yr of his career

      • Macuca says:

        NIce comment but you forgot that Kobe came out of High School and not college MJ had minutes their two and he played baseball that takes a bigger beating on your knees than basketball , I know I played triple A ball. Bottom line is no matter what Kobe does their will always be some comment to degrade his skills . If he takes the game in to his on hands he’s a hog ball or doesn’t know how to trust his teamates, Kobe is Kobe not MJ and the same was said about Mj before he began winning titles . Kobe will probably end up with six like MJ and with more points and the debate will always be there about who was better. Perhaps you forgot the fisrt time Kobe faced MJ or Iverson faced MJ they broke his ankles but MJ still won . Kobe has grown as a player and that is part of preperation to aging in the sport gracefully like Kareem. Kobe has two more solid years ahead and then we will have to see him start mentoring the next generation.

      • Kobe Aging says:

        @Macuca

        Really? I actually needed to POINT OUT that Kobe had been playing since High School? Ok well I assumed that was a given that ANY Kobe fan would know he came out of High School to the NBA. My point was not to comment on the number of YEARS Kobe has been playing, but about OVERALL MINUTES, which I feel best shows a players wear and tear that he has had throughout his career.

        For example, WHY do you think you hear analysts and commentators comment on how Grant Hill is STILL able to go out and perform at a high level at 38 like he does? Did you know he is putting up his best stats in the last 5 years and he was 33 then? Did you know he averages the SAME number of rebounds that Kobe does, and hes 6 years older? This is because of the fact he WASNT playing NBA basketball for 5 years out his career like Kobe was. Yes, of course this is due to his injuries. Thats the point. Grant Hill wasn’t playing, Kobe was. His legs weren’t running, jumping, twisting, turning, spinning and dunking on their way to being more used up, for 5 YEARS. Thats alot. In 5 years of his career he played 50 or less games, and 4 of them he played less than 30.

        The minutes argument is a very valid one, but you can argue it all you want thats fine. I never said Kobe sucks, or is washed up. He simply has only a couple of years left to play at a high level like he has, thats it. Kobe will NOT be scoring 15 and grabbing 5 reb a game like Grant Hill is right now at 38, NO way. Hes 32 and just gets 5 now, let alone another 5 years passing by. Did you know Grant Hill has had multiple 27+ 10+ reb games this year? Kobe at 38 will in NO way be doing anything like that. And please, there is NO MJ and KB debate. Kobe is nowhere near MJ’s level and thats just how it is.

        All I hope is that Kobe ages as gracefully as Shaq has. Shaq is humble and admits he is just a role-player now. Something tells me Kobe will NOT age gracefully and we will still see him putting up 25 shots when he is 38 trying to score just 10 or 15 points . While I was never a fan though, I still enjoyed watching Kobe in his prime, because I’m not a hater. He was without a doubt one of the most exciting players ever. Kobe fans should just enjoy and really appreciate the ride they have left, because his time is definitely over soon, and there is nothing wrong with that. Noone defeats Father Time.

  32. Gary says:

    I think all these statements about the Lakers and other teams are just a drama show to keep people guessing. The media blows up everything and people run with it. I like Shaun Powell’s statement “wake me up in spring” because it will be a different story no just for the Lakers but alot of teams this year.

    • muho says:

      gary i totally agree with you, last year was the same story and look what happened. they are the two time champs and they are little bit tired. nobody could expect them go 100 percent at this moment, they are just taking it slow.media and the others just try to draw attention. wake me up too when playoffs come.