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SportsNation Poll Results Say Kobe Bryant Will No Longer Be Elite Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="184"] Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant returned to the practice floor on Monday morning working out for two hours with Wesley Johnson in [new_royalslider id="184"] Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant returned to the practice floor on Monday morning working out for two hours with Wesley Johnson in Rating: 0
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SportsNation Poll Results Say Kobe Bryant Will No Longer Be Elite

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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.

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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:

SportsNation Poll

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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  • kobe24

    Well coming off of 2 potential career ending( Achilles) injuries it seems like a logical answer. However, this is Kobe Bryant we are talking about, one of the hardest working athletes in the game.

    If anyone can make an amazing comeback, its him

    • Michael

      They said that going into last season prior to his return, and it took all but 6 games for another injury to take him out. I think I’d be thrilled if he comes back not so much as “elite”, but even “solid” like 16-18pts a game, 5 rebs, and 5 assists. At some point, one’s legendary competitiveness and work ethic can no longer overcome old age and the cumulative excessive wear and tear they have been subjected to.

      • Josh

        The only way his numbers drop that far is if he’s on a minutes restriction all season. He hasn’t scored fewer than 20 ppg since his third year in the league.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    I just hope to see Kobe make a healthy successful comeback.

  • Eazy

    If he had 1 hint of physically not being able to be the player he was 2 years ago he wouldn’t come back.

    • marc

      well then what’s he gonna do with the $48m contract he just signed?

    • BlackJack Charles

      Here’s a hint: torn Achilles and a broken knee.

  • Guest

    SportsNation sucks

  • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

    I would be more than happy is he can still be a 22-5-6 guy… playing around 30-34 minutes per game.
    I do believe that his assist will go up when he comes back…

    • Josh

      If you believe his assists will go up, then raise your numbers to 22-5-8. He already averages 6 under MDA and 5 for his career.

      • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

        you are correct.. typo error.. should have been 8 assist… very realistic for Kobe… it’s the continuation of the evolution of his game.

  • Matt Williams

    ESPN hasn’t been taken seriously in years. They’re a joke. Always will be.

  • Mike

    its not a question of if he can still be an elite player everyone should know that he can its just a matter of him staying healthy trough the season/playoffs same with nash we know he can still play but its irrelevant if you cant play because your hurt every other 3 games

  • ra

    ah! Sports Nation. Polled 1/2 dozen people on the East Coast, and ‘probably’ Kobe haters.

    Anyway, here’s how it plays out: If Kobe can avoid further injury, he is ‘automatically’ elite. If he is injured, he isn’t playing (much). That’s it! Easy call. If he plays = elite. If he doesn’t = doesn’t play. Doesn’t take rocket science to figure that out. (any rocket scientists, or ex-rocket scientists, at ESPN?),

  • Lakers Fan

    Although odds are against him, I think he can average around 25 ppg if he really wants to. But with possibly better players around him and a bench to spare him minutes, I think he will average around 23-6-6 next year. It would make sense for him to go easy given he will be older and coming off two difficult injuries. Hopefully, he will have a good enough team around him so he won’t have to overwork himself.

    • comrade24

      If we field a good team next year (which i think is entirely plausible) i think 25ppg is too high. I’d rather see him closer to 20 and assist numbers go up. Don’t want Kobe’s usage to be through the roof and history shows that the more shots Kobe takes, the less the Lakers win. If we suck next season, put up 30 a game, why not.

  • LAdude

    Fuck ESPN! The most bias news reporting would always come from their retarded writers. Everyone should know by now that they’re the most anti-Lakers and anti-Kobe of all the sportscasters.

  • BlackJack Charles

    He’ll probably average 16-18/game, play 32-36 minutes/game–maybe–and be his usual petulant, poor teammate self. Have fun with that.

  • lakers4life

    This just adds more fire to kobe’s fuel, keep up the motivation espn.

  • Dmariah

    Your polls are too funny! KOBE a five time champion, MVP, record breaker in so many categories, now have the audacity to say he is no longer an “Elite” player!!! REALLY??!!!!! Now, what is the status of Steve Nash his teammate, who does NOT bear the same kind of achievements???
    You all are so fickle it is ridiculous!!!!

  • lakerfan

    He will never be the same right, But he will still dominate.. He had an Achilles injury not a brain injury.. we are not talking about him having a injury towards were he has to learn to walk again… Smh…. Its all on getting into game shape which is difficult at his age but knowing Kobe’s work ethic he should over come that easy and come back strong for his last two seasons as The Greatest Laker ever.

    • comrade24

      he could have a severe head injury and still be smarter than the ESPN writers (not to mention the trollers on this site who aren’t even Lakers fans)

  • Walt

    Truthfully I think management is going to use Kobe to sell a few tickets while they rebuild. They are paying him nicely for it, but their attitude towards him shows me that they are not going to try to compete next year. Heck they don’t even want to get rid of Dantoni. At least Bus said that he will step down if the team is not back in 4 years, but I don’t know why the company cannot be honest to Kobe and to fans. Please Mr. Buss be a man of your word, if your plan doesn’t work and we stink for several more years step away and let someone come in a restore the Lakers.

  • hoperhetoric

    Nash is old but very unguardable in dribble penetration & he uses it a lot for assisting! Kobe has unguardable dribble penetration too but he still make unnecessarily tough shots just to entertain the league, have showtime.
    He likes learning from greats so learn from Nash! He can easily score 25pts efficiently if he learns nash technique! Learn Nash moves! Elite super stars is not about explosiveness & athletism but just being able to be clutch & carry a team offensively or defensively!

  • KingEmperor

    he will come back as an elite player because he is just simply the best basketball player in the world..

  • magikwyrkz

    I take everything that ESPN states with a grain of salt since they are such haters of Kobe and the Lakers and ride the Heat & La Brondas dick. Although Kobe may not come back like when he was young, I really think he is going to surprise a few people. This guy is a total warrior and is totally focused.
    I wish the best for him over
    the last few years of his time with us even though he is not my favorite player. I have total respect for him and his accomplishments, even those he should have received and didn’t.

  • Devon Samuels²⁴

    Can’t wait till Kobe proves them wrong again make a healthy comeback Mamba!

  • TheTruthKills

    Considering the injuries he’s coming off of, age, and wear and tear from all the years of playing his best years are probably behind him. He can still come back and put up 23ppg, 4rpg, 4apg just off of pure basketball skills and IQ. He’ll probably still demand a double team once he returns. That’s elite in some circles.

  • KB24

    WORK ETHIC.POWER OF WILL.DETERMINATION.HEART OF A CHAMPION.PASSION AND LOVE FOR BASKKETBALL………KOBE HAS IT ALL……HE CAN COME BACK BETTER AND STRONGER…..REMEMBER, if its your last few years in the league(even you are kobe,durant,lebron or even pau gasol),you want to FINISH IT STRONG AND WITH ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RING

  • B. Someone

    haha, those people never learn

  • Shannon

    Fans have to stop being delusional. I’m one of his biggest fans and supporters but chances are he won’t come back elite. There’s only so long before you can say “he’s Kobe, he’s tough”. Everyone ages. Look at Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. They haven’t had nearly the bad injuries as Kobe and those two have taken a nose dive. I’d be impressed if Kobe averaged 18, 5 and 5.

  • hookedonnews

    That poll is meaningless. No one knows how Kobe will play when he returns, but I wouldn’t bet against him.

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