Unfortunately, the chances of any NBA games being played this season are decreasing by the day. And while all players in the league are being affected by the current work stoppage, there is a group who could be suffering more than others. And that’s the league’s aging superstars, who are losing what could be their last quality season of their careers.
One of these aging superstars I speak of is the one and only Kobe Bryant, who has been garnering plenty of talk the last couple of seasons concerning his increasing age and laundry list of aches and pains.
There have been rumors during this extended lockout of Kobe playing in both Turkey and Italy. And while playing in Europe would excite American and international basketball fans around the world, it may be wise for Kobe to stay in America during the lockout.
Pretending the 2011-12 season is the last season Kobe has to be considered one of the league’s top five players, which is probably much more of a reality than pretending, does he really want to spend it in Europe? Yes, the alternative is sitting at home doing nothing, with the possibility of his skills diminishing naturally.
But wouldn’t it be smart for Kobe to preserve his aging body for the best and brightest of the NBA, instead of dominating teams throughout Europe ?
Who knows, all of the extra rest could be helping Kobe, and whenever NBA basketball does return, we could see a resurgence in Kobe’s overall game, instead of a possible decline from going full speed in Europe.
Also, spending his last “elite” season in Europe could lead to backlash from fans, media and even the Los Angeles Lakers organization.
What if Kobe spends time with a European basketball team and when he starts playing NBA basketball again, he sees a huge decline in his play, his ailing right knee gets worse and the Lakers struggle to stay atop of the Western Conference?
Fans, media, and now that the Buss family is in full control of the team, even the Lakers could blame Kobe for his and the team’s shortcomings. And whether the finger-pointing would be fair or foul, it could potentially hurt the way his overall legacy is viewed.
Kobe playing in Europe would have fans filling arenas overseas and American fans trying to find ways to stream Mamba’s games on their computers and phones, in addition to allowing the Lakers superstar to play the game he loves.
But it would ultimately be best for Kobe, when looking at both the short-term and long-term, to wait out the nuclear winter in sunny Southern California.