Kobe Bryant’s retirement from the NBA is in the rearview mirror at this point, but Los Angeles Lakers fans aren’t ready to let him ride off into the sunset just yet. Bryant’s final season came in 2015-16, but due to the team’s recent struggles and the very real chance they miss the 2019 NBA Playoffs, fans are calling for a comeback. They want the Black Mamba to lace the kicks up for one more postseason push.
While the Lakers currently sit at 29-31 with three teams either boasting the same or a better record for the eighth and final playoff spot, tensions are high among the fanbase. After all, the offseason signing of LeBron James was expected to lock the team into a spot in the postseason, and potentially more than that.
But with the Lakers now losing back-to-back games to the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies, along with four of the last five and six of eight, it’s led to the Kobe chatter. Considering Bryant’s final game of his NBA career was a 60-point showing, it’s safe to assume that’s played a role in this situation.
Lakers Fans Ask Kobe Bryant to Make Comeback for Playoff Push
Lakers’ Current Playoff Chances & Kobe Bryant’s Career
While the dreams of a Kobe return for one final run are fun to think about, it’s obviously not happening, and I’m assuming that’s fully known. Bryant, who’s currently 40, could likely still get some buckets, but his NBA career is in certainly in the past at this point. Although the Lakers legend dealt with injuries late in his career, Bryant averaged 22.3 points per game in his second-to-last year over 35 games. He did see a decline to 17.6 points during his final season, but played by far the fewest minutes of his career at 28.2 per game.
As far as the Lakers’ current playoff outlook goes, it’s mentioned above they are three games back of the No. 8 seed but have a tough road ahead. With 22 games left on the schedule, the good news is that 12 of those games are at home, including one against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center which is considered a “road” game.
But two brutal stretches could define the team’s season and their postseason chances. The Lakers have a five-game road trip which includes matchups with the Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons, who are pushing for a playoff spot. To finish out the season, the final stretch of games this year could set up a do-or-die situation for L.A.’s playoff outlook, with five likely playoff teams on tap.
This includes dates with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Clippers, Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers to finish the regular season.