Kobe Bryant’s Struggles are Good for the Lakers Long Term


Kobe Bryant is having a historically bad season but this could prove beneficial to the Los Angeles Lakers in the long term

So far this season, Kobe Bryant is shooting 31.5 percent. He is putting up these awful percentages while leading the team in usage percentage and attempted field goals, despite missing multiple games for rest.

The simple fact is, Bryant is playing ugly basketball. As J.A. Adande pointed out, he’s made a career out of hitting impossible shots but at his age, he’s not hitting those shots anymore.

Here’s the bright side: no one wants to see more of this.

Fans are growing more and more depressed watching their fallen hero. His teammates are losing patience with him. Even Kobe admits that he’s playing horrible basketball.

So why is it good that no one wants to see more of this? It significantly helps the odds that fans won’t have to. With Bryant’s pride there was always a chance that he would want to come back for another year, whether for the Lakers or another team.

With his current quality of play, it’s doubtful that even Kobe himself wants to see another minute of this. He laughed at the thought of retirement whenever he was injured over the last few seasons but it’s unlikely that he’s still laughing.

Nobody wants to see Kobe go down. No matter how depressing his play is, he deserves to finish out the season. But that’s all he deserves. Kobe is done showing fans new heights.

All that’s left for Kobe is to show fans new lows. While nothing has been stated publicly, this season has made it almost certain he will no longer play for the Lakers.

Whether he finally admits that he’s done, or he tries another season, it’s hard to imagine it actually happening. His play this season has given the front office what it needs to not be pressured into giving him another contract if he wants one.

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If Kobe was playing respectable basketball this year, he might have been stubborn and wanted to keep playing. He might still be stubborn and try to play again. But he doesn’t have the rabid fan base in his corner anymore.

For a generation that grew up idolizing Kobe, this season has been sad. If the Lakers forced him into retirement it would be for his own good and the good of his legacy. The fans understand that.

Sure, some of Kobe’s most fanatical supporters might still be unrealistic, but real Lakers fans are accepting that this is the end. Kobe has no reason to come back next year.

With him finally out of the picture, the franchise can begin to move on. They can go all in on developing their young talent, instead of risking the future for an ill-advised attempt at playoff contention.

The Lakers can go into free agency meetings, and not have Kobe’s $25 million contract, attitude and usage rate hanging over their team. They can attract their next star, and honestly tell him that it will be his team and his city.

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With his play this season, Kobe’s future plans are finally beginning to clear up. No one wants more of this. It is time for it to end.

What do you think of Kobe’s future? Let us know in the comments or on twitter.