By Joseph Crevier @JosephMCrevier on July 26, 2014
Throughout his illustrious career, Kobe Bryant has achieved a multitude of impressive feats placing him in the conversation of greatest players of all-time. Now in the twilight years of his career, Bryant's window to further prove his case as the greatest is rapidly winding down. If he can accomplish any of these five tasks listed, perhaps he can elevate his legacy to a whole new level.
When the Los Angeles Lakers handed Bryant a massive two-year/$48.5 million contract extension, it immediately became a controversy amongst NBA fans and media. Paying such a steep price to an aging player, in his final years of his career is certainly a risk, yet management did not hesitate on the offer. All Kobe has to do now is to prove he is worth being the highest paid player in the league by reaching an elite level of play once again.
One knock against Bryant constantly is his singular MVP award. Past legends such as Michael Jordan and even currently LeBron James have been named MVP numerous times, which really hurts Bryant's case. In order to permanently be considered ahead of James especially, Bryant must add at the very least one more MVP award to his trophy case. In his late 30s an MVP award will be that much more magnified due to the unlikelihood of winning the award.
Contrary to popular belief, Bryant ranks amongst the all-time assist leaders, currently placing at No. 27. For a so-called "ball hog" being in the top 30 in assist totals is a remarkable statistic,. Furthermore, to truly capture the attention of NBA personnel, Bryant must surpass Nate Archibald to enter the top 20 of assist leaders. He's currently 551 assists behind, so he has to average a measly 3.4 assists per game over the next two seasons.
It's no secret that Kobe Bryant enjoys scoring the basketball. He has won multiple scoring titles and currently holds the Lakers' all-time scoring record. However, Bryant is yet to exceed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's scoring record of 38,387 career points. Bryant still trails by a substantial amount, but surpassing him would solidify him as the greatest scorer in NBA history.
Winning a sixth title has been Bryant's primary focus throughout the final years of his career. Unfortunately, Los Angeles has been unable to surround Bryant with the necessary talent to become NBA champions since constructing an unsuccessful super-team two years ago. If Bryant somehow single-handedly wills the Lakers to one last title, he will forever be considered the closest thing to Michael Jordan the league has ever witnessed.
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