It has been a brutal start to the season for Kobe Bryant. In the first five games, Bryant is averaging 16.2 points per game, but shooting just 32.1 percent from the field and 21.1 percent from beyond the arc. At 37, the Los Angeles Lakers star guard has looked like a shell of his former self, resulting in plenty of criticism from analysts, as well as becoming the butt of Internet jokes.
Following the Lakers' 104-98 win over the Brooklyn Nets last night, Kobe spoke with Yahoo Sports during what Adrian Wojnarowski refers to as "his farewell tour." Looking at his rough opening stretch to the 2015-16 campaign, the Black Mamba has an interesting take on how it has been received by the public.
"I get held to much higher standards than most of my peers," he said. "If I have a bad shooting night, it's, 'He's in the grave. He's in the coffin.' Look around the league, and other players have bad shooting nights – and it's just a bad shooting night." While he is right about other superstars around the league having bad shooting nights—we're looking at you, James Harden—that other but about being held to a much higher standard...
No one is holding Kobe to a much higher standard because nowadays, he's battling a different opponent named Father Time who has been and always will be undefeated.
Still, in true Kobe-esque fashion, he was able to spin this point-of-view in his favor. "But the expectations that they have for me, they're actually something that I appreciate. Achilles injury. Fractured knee. Torn shoulder. Twentieth year in the league. Thirty-seven years old. All that, and the expectations are that I average 30 points. But I appreciate those standards, because it's something that still pushes me, still drives me."
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[via Adrian Wojnarowski]