Taking a knee. It a practice in football where the Quarterback "takes a knee" when the game is over, or either it’s time to go into the locker room for half time. Because, in football, anything could happen when the ball is snapped. So how does this translate into basketball and Kobe Bryant? Well, I think it’s time for him to take a knee. Run out the clock on this season. It’s not your style, but let’s look at the argument for sitting out for the rest of the season.
When it comes to being a Kobe Bryant fan, you will be hard pressed to find one as big as me. I know that every Lakers fan feels the same way I do. I must admit that I was more of a Shaq fan than a Kobe fan. It’s kind of hard not to be. He was a Laker through and through. He walked the walk, he talked the talk, and he scored the points. When the last time you’ve seen a big man dominate like that? It has been a while. So when he left, we all had to look at Kobe and say "well…..". It wasn’t the 81 points he dropped, but it was the incredible season he had that year that impressed me the most. He was a machine. He went out there every night and bled Lakers pride. He became the face of the franchise, and the only one who could even remotely have a claim for the title "The Next Jordan". But now that time has passed.
Every player ages. We see it in almost all the sports. From Kobe Bryant to Tiger Woods to even Rodger Federer, they all have long since left their prime. The hardest part for an athlete is to face the facts; you are NOT getting any younger. So when people say Kobe will be back in 6 weeks, I must first ask the question why? He’s still the Black Mamba. He’s still good for 25+ points a night with 5-7 boards and a few assist. And that’s after 17 seasons in this league. But he, like everyone in this world, cannot escape father time. He gets us all in the end. Kobe has 2 years left after this season to get it done. That’s two more shots to get that 6th ring, and maybe the 7th. So why not sit out, rest up, practice with the team, and get ready for next season?
I’m not saying he should lay down. I am saying he should pick his battles. Realistically, do the Lakers have a shot at the Finals? No. At best, we have a shot at a low seed in the playoffs. We are not better than San Antonio. We defiantly are not better than the Thunder. So there isn’t much hope against to make any noise. But here me out. Kobe sits. He rest. He gets a couple of plasma treatments on his aging knees. We continue are rebuilding. He comes back next season, fresh. Think about it. A fresh Kobe. Maybe even a few new players from trade and free agents? Could we have a shot? I think so. Is it the right thing to do? I’ll let you decide. But I would love nothing more than to see Kobe get number 6. To see the Lakers hang another Banner. To see another star put on the Lakers center court. To be the NBA’s best. That’s what being a Laker is all about, right?