Week 7 in the NBA has started and the short season has shown us many things. The Wizards, now know as the Izards, for their lack of W’s, the big three for the Los Angeles Lakers (sadly not including Luke Walton) and Miami, and Carmelo and company dominating the East. But there is one constant in the jumble of NBA news and that is the ageless Kobe Bryant continuing to dominate the competition. At 34 years of age, Bryant is putting up numbers younger players dream about. His stat line this season reads 29.5 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game and most surprising, 5 assists per game. Now the rebounds and assists are around his career average, but the points per game are what really jump off the page. Not only is he the league leader in scoring, but the last six games have given testament to his great scoring ability.
He has scored 30+ points in the last six games, which is his second longest streak of 30+ point performances since his 13 consecutive in 2003. Not only has he continued to score, but he continues to move up the all time scoring leader board. He notched 29 against the New Orleans Hornets on December 6 to put him passed the 30,000 point marker for his career. Even though it took the great one Michael Jordan 220 fewer games and the Mailman Karl Malone 28 fewer games to accomplish the feat, this accomplishment can’t go overlooked as Kobe became the youngest ever to accomplish the feat. All this greatness can only be dwarfed by the Lakers, shall we say, lack of focus this season that has them sitting at 12-14. This ranks 3rd in the Pacific Division and 12th in the Western Conference underneath the bench-less Portland Trail Blazers and the Dirk-less Mavericks. Kobe thrives under pressure and has always risen to the occasion when his team needs him most. Sadly, some of his best performances have come when his team can’t seem to find a way to be relevant besides having Bryant on the team. Not to take anything away from the guy, but in order to make this historic season count for the ageless wonder, the struggling Lakers need to channel Kobe’s energy, or find a new zen master because their season is slowly slipping away. Kobe is continuing to shoulder the load and carry his team on his back, but let us hope that Kobe being Kobe will dig the Lakers out of a tremendous hole.