For most of the Olympic hoops tournament Kobe Bryant was dormant. But when the moment required it Mamba struck with venomous intentions. Such is the nature of the most accomplished player in today’s game. Over the course of Kobe’s career we’ve seen him reinvent his game and approach countless times. The games in London unveiled the latest and final reinvention of KB24.
Let’s not fool ourselves. Bryant has been openly discussing the conclusion of his career because he knows the end is near. That’s why what we saw in London is a preview of what to expect from Bryant in the NBA.
With all the all-galaxy talent on Team USA, Kobe was able to pick and choose his spots instead of being asked to do everything all the time as was the case this past season in Los Angeles. With Steve Nash and Dwight Howard officially suited for purple and gold the burden on Bryant’s back is lessened for the upcoming NBA season.
Just as Kobe could allow his Olympic teammates to take over until his services were required the same goes for the new-look Lakers.
Bryant won’t have to put forth an NBA Finals effort for a regular season game in Milwaukee. He can conserve his energy, reserving a champion’s drive for games that require such. Mike Brown simply was asking too much of Bryant last season and while Kobe performed at an elite level it clearly was a formula that didn’t work.
Despite being one of the best conditioned athletes on the planet Bryant can’t do anything about the natural occurrences of aging. How he survived the hectic lockout shortened season while nearly winning the scoring title remains one of the most amazing feats you’ll see in hoops. Still, a repeat performance for Bryant will end the same way once again – without a title.
Finally Kobe has a true point guard that can run the offense. Once again Bryant has an elite level big man. The pieces are in place for another title run. All that remains is to see how the new-look Lakers adjust to playing with the final incarnation of the Black Mamba.