I steadfastly believe that as long as Kobe Bryant can walk he will be playing basketball. Doesn’t matter if it with the Lakers, in China or the Globetrotters, he will be playing ball.
With that being said realistic Lakers fans have seen the subtle decline in his game. It isn’t because of a lack of desire, just that his body is breaking down.
It happens to every basketball player at some point. I am truly amazed that he is still playing at such a high level, speaks to his work ethic and intensity.
But how long will his knees hold up?
Kobe’s problem is an articulating cartilage problem. The way I describe that to people is that if you look at the end of chicken bone where it’s nice and white, well, that’s not bone, it’s cartilage. Sort of like a Teflon surface that when two bones come together, that cartilage is there so that bones don’t rub on each other. Now, the fact that it’s nice and white tells you it doesn’t have a good blood flow to it, and that means it cannot heal or regenerate. So, over time, as that cartilage wears away, you end up with osteoarthritis.
Kobe doesn’t have an arthritic knee, but he has a knee that has some joint degeneration to it. His issues and his age are such that it eliminates some procedures, like microfracture and that type of things. But he is a candidate for certain other things, and we know all the procedures all around the world that are available to him, and the appropriate decisions will be made, he’ll have the best care.
To boil that down: Bryant has little cartilage, the state of the cartilage is problematic, he has joint degeneration but not arthritis and “procedures” have been explored.
In laymen terms Bryant’s knee probably isn’t going to get better and this isn’t new groundbreaking information. Everyone knows that Bryant has this knee issues, along with a few other ailments.
With a player like Kobe, he is never going to just fall of the map in regards to his basketball skills, he is too knowledgeable of a player to turn into garbage overnight, but at some point the drop will be noticeable enough that even his biggest stans will have to acknowledge it.
What I wonder is how will Kobe handle it?
Will he play to the brakes fall off or will he leave before he crashes on the freeway?
What do you think?