Kobe Bryant admits that he won’t ever be the same again on the basketball court, and he’s okay with that. After all, he will be 36-years-old by the start of next season (which is 70 in basketball years, according to the Mamba) and despite us always thinking otherwise, the five-time NBA champion is most definitely human.
So, after two major injuries, Bryant is well aware that he will have to change the style of his game for the remainder of his career. However, Kobe says that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will be any less effective than before when he steps on the basketball court.
“So when I hear pundits and people talk, saying, ‘Well, he won’t be what he was.’ Know what? You’re right. I won’t be,” Bryant said in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard, “But just because something evolves, it doesn’t make it any less better than it was before.”
Bryant is in a better position than most would be after suffering two serious injuries at his age. What has made Kobe great over the years has been his ability to truly master every aspect of the game, so when he loses something such as his athleticism, Bryant is able to use his unique basketball mind and superb footwork in order to continue to be effective.
A famous quote by Bruce Lee sums up Bryant’s way of thinking rather nicely.
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water,” Lee said. “When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”