This hasn’t exactly been a fantasy basketball season to remember for Los Angeles Lakers SG Kobe Bryant. He has played in only six games this year and has posted just three 20-point performances to go along with three performances with under 10 points. The news of his recent knee fracture was the last straw for many fantasy owners and last week alone the Black Mamba saw his ownership drop from 86.2% of ESPN leagues all the way down to 78.5 % this week.
Now I know this has been one of the worst fantasy campaigns of his career and that he is slated to be out at least one more month while he recovers. However, there is still no way that Kobe should be available in 13.8% of ESPN formats. It is a disgrace to what he has done for the world of fantasy basketball.
When healthy, Bryant has been able to put fantasy teams on his back with his scoring ability. He has averaged 25.5 points per game throughout his epic career and he is one of the most prolific scorers to ever pick up a basketball. Considering the current state of the Lakers’ offense, there is no reason to think that Bryant can’t come back to drop 20 points per game upon his return.
Some critics are actually speculating that Bryant is going to shut it down for the year, but obviously those so-called pundits haven’t followed the Black Mamba throughout his career. Bryant has made a habit of coming back to the court early almost every time he has been injured, and I would think that this would be no different. He should be back by Week 15, if not sooner, which is luckily still around six or seven weeks away from the start of the fantasy playoffs. That gives him plenty of time to make a fantasy impact down the stretch, so fantasy fans shouldn’t be afraid to stash the 15-time All-Star on the bench for a playoff run.
If you still have Kobe on your roster at this point in the season, simply remain patient with him and allow the Black Mamba to get some rest. I promise you won’t regret it.