Kobe Bryant will make one of the most eagerly anticipated NBA returns in October after a season riddled with injuries last time out.
The LA Lakers superstar returned from Achilles surgery at the start of the last season before his campaign was brought to an abrupt end when he fractured his knee cap.
The Lakers tanked, and despite his return to full health this offseason, many fans and commentators believe that Kobe won't return to his former greatness.
But of course the 35-year-old doesn't share that opinion. Kobe in fact feels he can at least replicate his previous NBA greatness.
Inspiration from an unlikely source
However, this doesn't mean that he feels he will be good enough to go out there and play like his 20-year-old self. He is more clever than that. Kobe has been keeping a close eye on other stars that have successfully dazzled in the Indian Summer of their career.
In fact, speaking this week, Bryant revealed that veteran All-Star baller Paul Pierce is one player that he is taking tips from.
“In preparing for this season, Bryant told friends that the player he is analyzing, as an example of adjusting your game as you get older, is fellow 36-year-old Paul Pierce. This is part of his goal to become ‘more efficient’ on the court,” SI reported.
“Said Bryant, ‘I’m going to max (my last two years) out too, to do whatever I can. Leave no stone unturned, no water left in the sponge.'”
Pierce sets the tone
Paul Pierce has been one of the most dominate NBA players during the last 16 years. Drafted in the first round back in 1998, Pierce enjoyed a hugely successful career with Boston Celtics, winning the NBA title and NBA Finals MVP in 2008.
A successful season with the Brooklyn Nets last campaign saw the 36-year-old show his powers are not completely gone, and these feats are exactly what Kobe has his eyes on replicating next term.
Even though Kobe believes he can get back to his best in the upcoming season, it is much more likely that we see a transformed Bryant during the 2014/15 campaign.
Kobe had his best two seasons in terms of assists per game in the last two years, and that suggests that we are going to see much more of a creative Kobe rather than a pure scorer going forward. Either way, Lakers fans are excited about Kobe's return.