Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Position: Shooting Guard
Experience: 17th Season
2012-13 Season Averages
23.09 PER, 27.3 PPG, 6.0 APG, 5.6 RPG, 1.4 SPG
In his 17th year in the league, Kobe Bryant played as if it were his seventh season. Bryant solidified his status as one of the greatest players in NBA history by averaging 27.3 points, 6.0 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals at the age of 34.
Most importantly, Bryant willed the Lakers through dismal times, kept his head on and transformed his game into that of a facilitator to lead L.A. back into postseason contention.
Since the All-Star Break, Bryant has averaged 28.5 points, 7.0 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals. Not only is that a sign of Kobe overcoming fatigue, but it's a testament to his conditioning—in his 17th season.
At season's end, Bryant led all shooting guards in points, assists and rebounds per game.
Bryant was also fifth in steals and second to Dwyane Wade in terms of field-goal percentage amongst players with at least 10 attempts per game. If that's not enough, Kobe shot 83.9 percent from the free-throw line and led the league in clutch scoring.
As fate would have it, Kobe's season ended with a torn Achilles tendon. On one foot, however, Kobe didn't get carried off of the court.
Bryant stepped up to the free-throw line, made both free throws on a torn Achilles tendon and tied the game at 109-109 with just over three minutes remaining—the story of a warrior.
Odds: 0.5 percent