At 36-years-old, nobody knows how Kobe Bryant will look next season.
But that doesn’t stop the NBA’s fourth all-time leading scorer from predicting that he’ll be pretty damn good.
It appears that Bryant has been talking to his good friend and teammate Pau Gasol, and the Spaniard today let it slip that the Black Mamba thinks he’s going to be a great player once again when he returns next season.
However, given Kobe’s immense competitiveness and ability to continually do the impossible, that’s not exactly all that surprising to hear.
“He feels very confident that he’s going to be back at the best level that he’s ever been,” said Gasol, according to ESPN Los Angeles’ Dave McMenamin. “So, you got to go with what he says.”
Bryant played just six games this season before fracturing his left knee in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies back in December.
That means that by the start of next season, Kobe will have played in just six games over the past ten months or so.
Still, Nick Young is looking at Bryant’s extended absence as a positive.
“We’ll see how he comes back,” Young told McMenamin. “He probably needed this rest. He’s been playing 18 long years with no break, so it was time for him to get a little break.”
That’s a pretty good way of looking at it.
Over the years, Bryant has played deep into the playoffs many times and also spent a number of summers playing for Team USA. That’s a lot of basketball.
So, maybe this these injury woes could end up being a blessing in disguise for the Black Mamba.
Let’s hope so, anyway.