Kobe Bryant Off to MVP-Caliber Start

Before the NBA season got underway, ESPN.com ranked every player in the NBA. A surprise to some, Kobe Bryant was number seven on that list, despite his ability to still score the basketball.

Kobe is in his 16th NBA season, which is a lot of mileage for any player. Add that to 208 career playoff games, which is the equivalent to two and a half more NBA seasons, and you get a lot of basketball played over the course of 15 years. He is 33 years old, but his body, at times, seems to be about 36.

He has played through multiple injuries over his illustrious career. He has had ankle injuries, knee injuries, a finger injury, and most recently, a wrist injury. Coming into the season Kobe appeared to be the healthiest he has been in quite some time, due to the NBA lockout giving him time to rest his nagging injuries. That was the case until he tore a ligament in his right wrist in a preseason game against crosstown rival Clippers.

The injury is on his shooting hand, but that hasn’t stopped the Black Mamba from shooting the rock. Kobe is averaging 23 shot attempts per game this season, the most he has had since the ’05-’06 season when he put up 27 shots a game. Head Coach Mike Brown sees no problem with Kobe taking the majority of the shots.

With Hall of Fame Head Coach Phil Jackson retired, the Lakers have went away from the famous Triangle Offense. They run a more basic offense now, which gets Kobe a lot more open looks, something he doesn’t hesitate to take. This does take away shots from all-stars Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, but they haven’t complained.

A lot of analysts were questioning how much Kobe had left in the tank, and Bryant seems to have taken offense to that. He averages 30 points a game after putting up 48 and 40 points respectively  in his past two games. After scoring 48 against the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night Kobe took a jab at the ranking system.

“Not bad for the 7th best player in the league,” Kobe said.

To go along with his 30 points per game, he also averages nearly six assists and six rebounds per game. I would say that is MVP-caliber numbers thus far into the season.

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About eddiemcdonald15
I am a junior at Clarion University and I love sports. I write for the school paper the Clarion Call. I am an analyst on 91.7 WCUC The Clutch as well as CU-TV the Nest. I am also a featured blogger on prosportsblogging.com You can follow me on Twitter @KingEdward15

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