Predicting How Long Kobe Bryant Will Play at an Elite Level

January 8th, 2013 by Howard Ruben Leave a reply »
Barring injury, Kobe Bryant could play at an elite level for at least two or three more seasons.  In fact, he could easily play until he is 40 and still be capable of averaging 20-plus points per game.

The bigger question is this: will the Black Mamba hang up his sneakers after next season when his contract expires?  Or, will he re-up with the Lakers for another year or two with the hopes of getting a sixth or seventh championship ring?

It's hard to know what's going through Bryant's mind as he sees his team's hopes for winning an NBA title this season all but dashed.  Coaching changes, injuries to star players, acrimony among teammates and a decidedly lackadaisical team demeanor all seem to point to a lost year for the Black Mamba.

From an individual standpoint, Kobe Bryant is enjoying one of the best overall seasons of his 17 years in the NBA.  His game this year has transcended elite status.  It's been more celestial, even otherworldly at times.

Even for those Kobe watchers who saw him score 81 (against Toronto in 2006) in a game or make one remarkable game-winning shot after another, it is still stunning t ...

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