Heading into the 2015-16 NBA season, one of the biggest storylines will be Kobe Bryant’s return from a torn rotator cuff and his 20th season with the Los Angeles Lakers. While general manager Mitch Kupchak shared that the five-time champion has ‘indicated’ to him that this will be his final season, Kobe has not made a decision regarding his retirement.
With Kobe set to turn 37 years old and heading into his 20th season, Kupchak was asked about his expectations for the superstar with Bleacher Report Radio on Sunday:
What does Mitch Kupchak expect from Kobe Bryant this season? "I don't know….. Father Time is the enemy."
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 24, 2015
Due to the three consecutive season-ending injuries, there will be uncertainty at this stage of his career. After being the league leader in scoring for the first part of the season, Kobe experienced general soreness and adjusted his game to being more of a facilitator. During this stretch, Kobe had two triple-doubles and set a career-high in assists with 17 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Heading into the new season, head coach Byron Scott has previously discussed a new game plan for his superstar which includes a minutes restriction and sitting out in back-to-back situations. If Kobe and Scott are able to stick to this game plan, it will provide the five-time champion an opportunity to stay healthy for the entire season and retire on his own terms.
Appearing in 35 games, Bryant averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists.
Lakers Nation NBA Draft Podcast: Lottery Results