Kobe Bryant is heading into his 19th NBA season with a lot of speculation surrounding how much the superstar might have left in the tank moving forward. So far, Kobe has shown signs of promise in the preseason with a spring in his step and a continued knack for scoring.
Over the course of the last three preseason games, Kobe is averaging 26.7 points per game and appears to be back to his old ways. Kobe may not be the same player that dominant the league for over a decade, but he’s getting the job done in limited minutes thus far.
On Friday, following the game between the Lakers and Sacramento Kings, GM Mitch Kupchak appeared on an episode of “Connected With…” on TWCSportsNet. Kupchak talked about all things Lakers along with touching on what he believes Kobe will accomplish this season:
“I think he can make the All-Star team…I think he’ll have the ability to score when he wants to score. I think he’ll be a great leader. His voice will be heard….He won’t be like he was fifteen years ago… that wirey, springy, try to dunk the ball every time…but you won’t notice it.”
Kupchak is confident Kobe will be an All-Star for the 17th time in his career and a great leader for this team filled with young players. Although the Lakers have suffered some ugly defeats in the preseason thus far, the team has bounced back recently with impressive performances against the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers.
Kobe came off arguably his best performance yet in the preseason scoring a game-high 27 points against the Suns on Tuesday while shooting 50 percent from the floor. Bryant hit three consecutive clutch shots in the fourth quarter to put the Lakers in position to win the game, but Isaiah Thomas sent the game into overtime with a clutch shot of his own.
Phoenix ultimately went on to win the game in overtime handing Los Angeles their fourth loss of the preseason. Despite the loss, the Lakers were able to hang tough against a talented Suns squad.
Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Comments On ESPN Article