Kobe Bryant: How Much Does He Have Left to Prove?

Imaz ACorrespondent IIJanuary 25, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 19:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers lshoots a free throw during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 19, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant and greatness; the words are synonymous.

Just look at his accomplishments: NBA All-Star, four-time All-Star game MVP, nine-time All-NBA first team selections, nine-time All-NBA Defensive first team selections, one-time NBA MVP, five NBA Championships and two-time Finals MVP.

Bryant has clearly cemented himself among the greatest NBA players of all time. He has dominated opponents with his eloquent and masterful individual skill and he has translated his abilities into wins when his team's hopes were on the line.

Because of this, it doesn’t seem like Bryant has much else to prove. However, that’s just a fan’s perspective.

To Bryant, it’s a whole different story.

This season, the Los Angeles Lakers have glaring weaknesses—age, speed, athleticism, depth, you name it—all are things that are hindering the Lakers’ chances of becoming champions once again.

Clearly, though, Bryant will not let this season go to waste.

At 33 years old and with a plethora of injuries, Bryant has accepted that he can’t drive to the basket with as much ease as he had in the past. However, Bryant has proved so many wrong with his mesmerizing display of basketball wizardry—his fine-tuned instincts, hesitation moves and smooth jump shot have allowed him to average an astonishing 30 PPG this season.  

But, the big questions are why and how is Bryant still playing at such a high level?

The answer is because, to him, he still has so much more left to prove.

Bryant wants to prove to all of us—but mostly himself—that he’s not one of the greatest players of all time but, instead, the greatest player of all time, and one more championship can prove just that.

Kobe Bryant and greatest; these are the words that Bryant desires to be synonymous.