For some he is the closest basketball player ever to Michael Jordan. Some say he is the greatest to ever play the game. Whatever your stand may be on Kobe Bryant, you cannot overlook the fact that his career is basically done. Hampered by injuries he is not the Kobe Bryant from 2002-2011.
Despite his injuries and lack of team chemistry over the past few years, Kobe has somehow managed to make it onto the All-NBA 1st team list for the past 8 years in a row. Also the fact that he has 5 rings makes for a strong debate as the greatest if all time next to Michael Jordan himself.
The $30 million dollar salary is not anything to overlook either. Kobe is getting paid way to much for him not producing the way he needs to be of late. Kobe not playing the way he needs to is not all contributed from him though. Lack of team chemistry with Dwight Howard has put Kobe on the spot to carry the Lakers and he has done just that.
Will Kobe come back like Rose? Kobe's achilles injury scares me as a fantasy owner. His a chillies will be tender and he will favor that leg. With that being said, over the past few years we have seen Kobe only shoot. He has not been driving to the basket and getting lay-ups as he should. Kobe is relying on his shot too much and defenders know this. When he returns, we will continue to see Kobe shoot and SHOULD start to become an assist man.
The Los Angeles Lakers will not be the same basketball team until Kobe retires. Kobe is the ultimate reason they have had success with NBA Championships but until the old Kobe retires, the Lakers will not be a threat to the much younger and stronger western conference. If Kobe thinks he can still compete at a high level after his contract is up then the Lakers need to sign him for a short term deal a lot less money than what he is getting paid now. Kobe needs to take a paycheck hit, similar to Lebron, in order to produce a younger more talented staff to compete for another NBA title.