Running on Empty: How Much Fuel Remains in Kobe's Tank?
Kobe Bryant has logged 29,947 minutes of regular-season play during his career. That is the 104th-most in NBA history.
Add in 5,084 playoff minutes. Add in 265 All-Star game minutes. That gives Kobe 35,296 minutes (excluding preseason) in his professional career.
That includes 966 career games—again, excluding preseason.
That is wear and tear.
Although Phil Jackson has tried to keep him fresh by playing him roughly three fewer minutes per game this season than last, Kobe's minutes have crept into the danger zone since Andrew Bynum's injury.
Kobe has responded admirably to the demands of carrying a good deal of dead weight.
Luke Walton and Lamar Odom have been atrocious since Bynum's injury. Trevor Ariza is gone. Vlad Radmanovic, Sasha Vujacic, and Ronny Turiaf have struggled with injuries. Kwame Brown has struggled with conditioning. DJ Mbenga has struggled to learn the triangle on the fly.
However, despite his efforts, fans around the league must be wondering how long Kobe can continue at this pace.
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