With the announcement of the 2010s NBA All-Decade team that saw Kobe Bryant find his way onto the third team, hot takes were bound to ensue. Despite a stellar career overall, Bryant’s final years in the league were marred by injury and inefficiency – making his candidacy for an All-Decade team during his twilight years somewhat intriguing.
Bryant still put together some incredibly impressive seasons from 2010 until his retirement in 2016, despite missing out on almost the entirety of 2013-2014 as well as most of 2014-2015 with his Achilles’ injury. From 2010-2013, Bryant never averaged below 25 points per game and was named to three All-NBA first teams, one All-Defensive first team, and one All-Defensive second team. Kobe was also named to the All-Star team every single year from 2010 until his retirement in 2016, winning the MVP of the game in 2011.
Follow the Heavy Los Angeles Lakers page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Los Angeles Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant’s NBA All-Decade Team Honors an ‘Outrage’, Says Max Kellerman
Despite his impressive numbers pre-injury, ESPN’s Max Kellerman felt that from an objective standpoint, Kobe being on any list at all was an absolute outrage. While Kellerman could have made his point that Kobe didn’t play the entire decade and was hurt for a good chunk of it, he decided to take things a step further and suggested that Kobe should be on the All-NBA Worst Team of the 2010s.
Citing his negative impact after his return from the Achilles’ rupture, Kellerman said that arguably no player has ever been more toxic to the team compared to post-injury Kobe. While Bryant’s numbers did take a nosedive after his injury, the Laker teams that surrounded him were extraordinarily bad and he had little to no help in terms of a supporting cast.
If anything, an aging Kobe taking 20+ shots per game was probably the best chance the Lakers had to actually win games as names like Wesley Johnson, Carlos Boozer, Jordan Hill, and Ryan Kelly were all seeing very real minutes for the Lakers during that time period. If anything, Bryant’s final years arguably look worse due to the fact that he really didn’t have much of a supporting case to lighten the load once his body started to give way.
Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy a Hub for Lakers in the Offseason
In his retirement, Kobe started up the Mamba Sports Academy – a high-end athletic training facility just north of the Los Angeles county line. Over the course of the offseason, a number of Lakers have been spotted working out at the facility ranging from superstars like Anthony Davis to rotational pieces like JaVale McGee or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
While Kobe isn’t involved in any official capacity with the team, he is an avid recruiter for the franchise in his retirement and seems to have an open-door policy for current Lakers to head over and get in whatever work they need to help take their game to the next level.