There are no words that can adequately sum up just how great Kobe is.
Incredible. Amazing. Astonishing. Prodigious. Resilient. They (and more) all apply, but the Black Mamba cannot be defined in one word. It would take a new, manufactured confab that was at least 50 syllables in length to do him justice. And that might not even be enough.
At 34, Kobe continues to school the rest of the NBA in the art of dominance. The Los Angeles Lakers haven't clinched a playoff berth, and they may miss out on the postseason entirely, but even their prosaic campaign isn't enough to offset just how historic Bryant's season has been.
Averaging 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and six assists on 46.3 percent shooting, Kobe is on pace to become the first player in NBA history, age 34 or older, to post at least 27 points, five rebounds and six assists per game. And he'll be just the fourth player ever to eclipse such marks after his 30th birthday, joining the company of Larry Bird, Ricky Barry and John Havlicek, all of whom are Hall of Famers.
What the fourth-leading scorer of all time has been able to accomplish as he continues to age is both awe-inspiring and necessary. We've hardly seen anything like what Kobe is doing, but the Lakers need him to do it if they wish to salvage their season.
Failure to make the postseason will undoubtedly put a damper on Bryant's parade, but win or lose, playoffs or not, nothing will change how epic a year Kobe has had.
*All stats in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference unless otherwise noted.