Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant returned to the practice floor on Monday morning working out for two hours with Wesley Johnson in El Segundo. It was the start of Kobe’s six-month training program on Monday in an effort to get his body right and ready for the 2014-15 NBA season.
With Kobe signing a two-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers last November, the end is drawing near for the future Hall of Famer and he’s fully aware of that fact. The real question moving forward is if Kobe can continue being an elite player in this league after suffering two season-ending injuries in consecutive years.
ESPN’s SportsNation conducted a poll on how many elite years Kobe may have left with some interesting results:
This summer, Kobe will turn 36 with no guarantee that he’ll ever be the dominant player of old. Before going down with the torn Achilles tendon at the tail end of the 2012-13 NBA season, Kobe proved that he can still play at a high level, but only playing six games this season may be a sign of things to come for the perennial All-Star.
Along with Kobe kicking his intense training program into high gear over the summer, the Lakers organization will have some tough decisions to make. Every player on the current roster outside of Kobe, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre are under contract for next season.
Drastic changes will likely be made in an effort to right the ship in Los Angeles. Trades, free agent signings and a high pick in the 2014 NBA Draft will be in play this summer potentially resulting in turning this team around, but it will be difficult to put it all together in order to produce a contender next season.
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