Blogtable: What Happens To Kobe Now?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe 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.


Kobe’s fate | Lakers’ plans | The blame game



VIDEO: Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding discusses Kobe’s latest setback

Gut feeling: Just another challenge that Kobe will attack and conquer, or beginning of the end?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: It seems pretty clear to me we have entered the end game with Kobe Bryant. He doesn’t have time to be losing big chunks of this or any season to injuries and rehabs, and what might be a flukey, sad coincidence when two injuries in rapid succession happen to 25-year-old Derrick Rose seems more ominous with 35-year-old Bryant. It’s hard to envision him getting back to All-Star level, never mind Top Five.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: At 35, with so many miles on his body, every day is the next step toward the end.  It’s simply the natural process of the body telling all of us that we can’t go on forever.  That said, Kobe is so driven, so fiery, that he’ll recommit himself again to rehab and be back out on the court as soon as he’s able.  Maybe it makes him re-think what is possible.  Maybe it makes him set his sights a little lower.  Maybe it makes him try more to fit in than to be the lead dog.  Nah, he’s Kobe.  He only has one gear.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: Kobe certainly isn’t used to this injury stuff. Coming off the rehab of his life following the Achilles tear, this will indeed be another physical and emotional challenge. But, if initial team reports are correct, this is a six-week recovery, not the seven months of grueling rehab he just completed. Hopefully the recovery from the fractured left knee won’t retard, or at least not much, the progress he’s made strengthening his left Achilles tendon. There’s no doubt he will attack this and conquer it. It’s the way he’s wired. No chance he allows this setback to break him. No chance. Just good thing for him he’s already put that autograph on a two-year, $48.5 million contract.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: That depends on your definition of “beginning of the end.” Bryant will be back and he will make an impact. But the beginning of the end was already beginning. Kobe himself was the first to say Father Time was getting more good looks than ever against Bryant, and then came the Achilles’ tendon injury. Being 35 and coming off that health concern would have been enough of a climb. And that injury is probably still the more pressing of the rehabilitations, not the fractured knee.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: We’ve probably seen the last of superstar Kobe, so the beginning of the end was really the Achilles tear in April. I’m sure he can come back and finish out his contract in some shape or form. But really, he’s 35 years old, he has suffered two major injuries to the same leg in the last 8 ½ months, and was showing signs of regression (on the defensive end of the floor) before he got hurt the first time.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: My gut tells me that Kobe, one of the truly undeniable forces of nature the game has ever seen, will do whatever it takes to battle his way back from this devastating setback and finish his career on his own terms. But my mind keeps going back to the words Chris Webber spoke on Episode 142 of the Hang Time Podcast and his keen observation, as someone who had battled injuries at the end of his own stellar career. You realize this has to be the beginning of the end of the Kobe Bean Bryant we’ve all come to know and respect (not even his critics can deny that the man has had a wicked work ethic over the course of his career). I just don’t see how there is any other view of this thing. Two significant lower leg injuries, to the same leg mind you, in nine months … unfathomable for a player who has been as durable as Kobe has been the past 17 years. When his contract ends I think Kobe calls it quits, regardless of what’s left to accomplish in his mind.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com: I have said all along that I don’t believe there is an end for Kobe. I’m not a doctor (and have never played one on TV) so I don’t know Kobe’s body and don’t know how many miles he has left on there. But no player of his generation — of any generation, really — has consistently shown this kind of drive and determination. I can’t count him out until he says he’s out.

18 Comments

  1. marty says:

    The Lakers must have $ to throw away.Their personell decisions will cost them in the next few years.I’m sorry but the MJ comparisons are ridiculous, outside of the ring total.

  2. TonyZ says:

    Kobe the best NBA player overall since MJ will come back, like I said before this is actually good for Kobe to rest a bit more his Achilles, not to force it.
    Also has more time to re think his role and consider that he might be able to only average 20 to 22 ppg then 27 or 28 ppg
    Go Kobe the best NBA Player and definitely top 5 all time !!!

  3. Game Time says:

    Kobe needs to come back and go at things slowly. He shouldn’t have been playing in all those games to begin with. They could have rested him for the road trip and used him for home games. Then if he showed flashes of his old self start taking him on road games.

  4. Adam says:

    Kobe had many good years and we all know he is a great player. Now it is time him to listen his body and think retirement while healthy otherwise spend all his money in these so called doctors. I want to see him leave the game while loved.

  5. you are all ... says:

    Father Time 1

    Everyone else 0

  6. uthizzle says:

    Kobe bryant believes in himself. And if his mind set is to comeback and be the best guess what??? He can do it! Because he has faith and with faith nothing is impossible!!!the minute you doubt yourself in anything you do, you are already defeated ,so if kobe let self doubt in then true he will not be that player we all know in love,but if he

    • HEATFANSINCEWADE says:

      Father time, Cant beat him forever. Even if you never doubt yourself, your body will break down because NBA level is the highest level. Silly fans think their player can play forever. Enjoy them while they are playing and Respect them and Remember them when they cant play anymore. When It comes time for my favourite to hang those shoes I will be Happy for him and all that he has done.

    • Ninja says:

      You can have all the faith you want the FACT is kobe is done as a dominant player. These aren’t minor injuries

  7. kobeballhog says:

    what else? retire after this injury then another one will come again, never ending bout of injuries he will only drag the whole lakers franchise down with him.

  8. Kobe will come back but don’t expect him to be (night in night out) the same superstar he was before the injury.

    I agree with John Schuhmann his opinion!

  9. KDfan says:

    Sekou, no offense, but I would have your guts examined by a good physician. And what terms would that be Sekou? Please be realistic. We understand that you folks are experts, follow the stars very closely and have more information; but what expert needs their guts to predict Kobe’s longevity in the league.
    John Schuhmann, thanks for not mincing your words and calling it like you, and everyone else like us, see it.

  10. Garry F says:

    See Michael Jordan never had this problem after the broken foot in his second year. He played in a tougher league at the time at the same position. He was in his mid 30′s in the repeat 3peat and was healthy as well as still remaining the greatest.

    Kobe at the moment has lost a few steps and is no way the king of the league as he was a few seasons back. That belongs to Lebron (For now).

  11. jumppong says:

    Well That’s Basketball.. every player will come to the end of their career. nothing to be ashamed of Kobe is a hall of Famer. next in line Lebron Queen James

    • Hobo Joe says:

      Sad to see Kobe out again (and not just him but a lot of star players). It seems like this year there has been a big blow to a lot of NBA players in terms of being out for extensive periods of time (Kobe, Rondo, Rose, Davis, Gasol, D-Will, Love, Curry, Westbrook, Chandler, Nash) just to name a few. Oh well at least Titus will get more opponents to beat down on Kimmel.
      #ClashOfTheTitus

    • 0_o? says:

      idiot..

    • Ninja says:

      What are you? Some insecure kobe fan?