Kobe Bryant might be one of the greatest players in NBA history, yet, unfortunately for basketball fans, he can’t avoid the unavoidable. The Los Angeles Lakers star is 36 years old and his body is deteriorating. He’s coming off two consecutive season-ending injuries and it’s unfair to Bryant to assume he’ll be the same guy that dominated the NBA for the past decade when the 2014-15 season tips off.
Bryant spoke about his body and its decline to Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated.
His body needs to rest. Recently he saw a top nutritionist, hoping to find some magic diet that would restore his energy to its earlier levels, as if aging is but a matter of changing your carbs-to-protein ratio. “There are certain things that my body can’t do that I used to be able to do,” Bryant admits. “And you have to be able to deal with those.”
Still, Bryant made clear that he still believes he can perform at a high level at his advanced age.
“So when I hear the pundits and people talk, saying, ‘Well, he won’t be what he was.’ Know what? You’re right! I won’t be. But just because something evolves, it doesn’t make it any less better than it was before.”
“I’ll be sharper,” he says. “Much sharper. Much more efficient in areas. I’ll be limited in terms of what you see me do, versus a couple years ago. But very, very methodical, very, very purposeful.”
One can’t fault Bryant for being confident about his abilities, especially considering all the success he’s had throughout his NBA career, though it’s hard to imagine him playing like an elite player this season due to the physical limitations he spoke about.
Bryant appeared in six games this past season before suffering his season-ending knee injury.