On August 23rd, Kobe Bean Bryant will turn 34 years old. The Black Mamba can still get the job done out on the court considering he averaged 27.9 points per game last season, but a handful of factors should dictate a decrease in minutes played next season.
Over the course of 58 games played last season as a 33-year-old with 15 seasons of NBA experience under his belt, Bryant averaged 38.5 minutes per game.
That's a 4.6 minute per game increase from the 2010-2011 season when Bryant was healthy enough to play all 82 regular-season games.
That 38.5 number wasn't a career high for Bryant, but it was above his career average of 36.5 minutes per game.
The increase in minutes from the season before could be attributed to the presence of the Los Angeles Lakers' new head coach, Mike Brown.
Brown was put under the pressure of coaching in Los Angeles for a storied franchise, as well as filling the shoes of coaching legend Phil Jackson.
The former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers may have relied too heavily on Bryant in his first year, when he should have monitored his minutes more closely.
Next season may be a different story, though, and here are five reasons why Bryant's minutes could (and should) decrease next season.