Knowing that Bryant was about to start his first season with more than 1,000 games under his belt, I looked to NBA history to tell me what might happen.
A careful analysis of the performance of past NBA stars in the seasons following their 1,000th career game proved to be fascinating.
Its all in the article, if you're interested, but the numbers pointed to a 33% decline in points and rebounds, and a 25% decline in assists.
For Kobe that would mean a stat line of 16.7 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game, and 3.5 assists per game.
Now, 34 games into the season, Kobe's stat line sits at 25.4 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, and 4.4 assists per game.
His scoring is actually UP one tenth of a point from his career average, while his rebounds and assists have taken minimal drops of about 7%.
So it is only fair that I now point out the unbelievable season that Kobe Bryant is having.
He is defying NBA history and accomplishing things that have never been done before.
Its interesting, because the article that I wrote predicting his decline, now stands as a testament to Kobe's incredible feats this season.
If his stats hold up, Kobe Bryant will be just the 2nd player in NBA history to average 25 points per game in any season following their 1,000th career game.
The only player to do it thus far is Karl Malone when he averaged 25.5 points per game in the 1999-2000 season.
Even more amazing, Kobe will be the first NBA player at the guard position to average at least 15 points per game in any season following their 1,000th career game. It looks like he will blow this record out of the water.
Assuming Kobe stays healthy, he will move into the top 50 list of all-time NBA games played by the end of the season.
The fact that he is still playing at the level that he is, I don't think can be overstated.
Right now the Lakers are getting a lot of negative attention for their recent struggles against poor teams.
Lets stop for a moment, though, and appreciate the historical season that we are witnessing from Kobe Bryant.
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