Lakers’ Legend Mychal Thompson on What Kobe Bryant Would Average if He Was Still Playing

Published 08/24/2021, 2:30 PM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) during the second quarter in game 3 of the first round of the NBA playoffs Friday, May 4, 2012 at Pepsi Center in Denver Colorado. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


The NBA and Los Angeles Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant would have turned 43 yesterday. As the world reminisced about how much they miss Kobe, social media erupted with people’s best memories of him. Many celebrities and fans took to Twitter to express what they feel about his 43rd birth anniversary. Among them was the 1978 first overall pick, Mychal Thompson.

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The father of one-half of the splash brothers, Klay Thompson, Mychal took to Twitter after the internet broke with Kobe’s memories on his ‘would have been’ 43rd birthday. He wrote about what it would be like if Kobe was still playing today.

LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 07: NBA Commissioner David Stern presents Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers the MVP Trophy before the start of Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Utah Jazz during the 2008 NBA Playoffs on May 7, 2008 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Kobe Bryant; David Stern

Mychal Thompson on if Kobe Bryant was still playing

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In line players, pundits, and fans alike, Thompson Sr. expressed how much he misses Kobe and also talked about how the Black Mamba would’ve been performing if he was still playing.

He wrote, “Kobe wudda bin 43 today…and averaging about 18 a game if he was still on the Lakers…I miss Kobe”

Even though at this point, this prediction is nothing more than conjecture, Mychal does have some substance to his argument. In order for a basketball player to play till the age of 43, they need to have an extremely healthy history – negligible or no injuries that can end a player’s career.

Aged 34 in 2013, Kobe Bryant suffered an Achilles injury that most likely started the downward trajectory of his career. It was a game between the Lakers and the Warriors. Coincidently, he was majorly guarded by Klay Thompson that day in his 34 point performance.

So, in order for Kobe to have realistically averaged 18 points per game (PPG) at this point in his career would have to beat the odds that would have been stacked against him. However, we are all aware of the fact that if there’s anyone that can beat stacked odds, it’s Kobe Bryant.

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Bryant and Chris Paul could have played together

Further, another factor that could have led to Kobe averaging 18 PPG was the Chris Paul trade veto. Had the league never vetoed Chris Paul’s trade to the Lakers back in 2011, the physical pressure on Kobe might have been drastically different.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – DECEMBER 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers waves to the crowd after passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list with a free throw in the second quarter of the game on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

After the Lakers got swept in the 2011 Conference Semi-Finals, they were in the market for another guard. The Hornets were looking to trade Chris Paul, and the Lakers were interested. Unfortunately, former commissioner David Stern canceled the trade of a 26-year-old Chris Paul to the LA, citing “basketball reasons.”

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If the commissioner didn’t veto this trade, then from 2011 to 2016, Kobe wouldn’t be single-handedly carrying the offensive load of the Lakers. And if that was the case, it could have been possible that Kobe would have never gotten injured. And if that was the case, then who knows how many more championship rings he would have had. Indeed, a legend.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

162 articles

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