After going down with an Achilles tear in April of 2013 and a knee fracture last December, the future of Kobe Bryant's career in the NBA has been uncertain to say the least. No one knew what to expect from Kobe after he played only six games last season before suffering a second consecutive season-ending injury.
Fortunately, even though Kobe's athleticism is not what it once was, the five-time NBA champion appears to be back to form as an elite scorer. The veteran shooting guard is averaging 27.6 points per contest during the first five games of the season, but despite his efforts offensively, the Los Angeles Lakers remain winless.
On Thursday, head coach Byron Scott was asked if he sees any similarities between Kobe now and Michael Jordan during his short stint with the Washington Wizards. Scott replied by saying the following about the interesting comparison, via Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
“There’s some parallel to it,” Lakers coach Byron Scott told this newspaper. “Kobe didn’t retire or come back. But he’s coming off an injury and coming off of retirement. Michael played with the Wizards. That wasn’t the Chicago Bulls, a team he wasn’t used to playing with. Kobe’s still with the Lakers, but playing with a group of guys that aren’t like the group he’s been accustomed to playing with. There are some parallels.”
Kobe was also asked about the Jordan comparison from his days in Washington. Bryant didn't exactly have the same response:
“No. Not really,” Bryant said. “Well maybe. I guess.
"He wasn’t in Chicago, playing for the same organization for all those years. It’s a little different. I’m still younger than he was,” Bryant said. “I can see where you guys are thinking there’s similarities there. I also think it’s probably reachable content at this point. I get it. So, yeah, there’s similarities. Then there are differences. Just have at it.”
Bryant may be considered an old player in the league today at 36-years-old with 18 years of experience, but he's much younger than Jordan when he made his final comeback. Jordan signed with the Wizards back in 2001 at 38 after sitting out for three seasons.
Although Jordan had some shining moments with the Wizards, the six-time NBA champion was well past his prime in Washington. Bryant on the other is still an elite player five games into his 19th NBA season and continues to put up the offensive numbers.
The Lakers may be winless after falling to the Phoenix Suns for the second time earlier this week, but Kobe remains one of the best offensive players in the league. The superstar continues to light up the scoreboards on a nightly basis while trying to get the Lakers back to relevancy in the Western Conference.