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Kobe Bryant.

Kobe Bryant says playing every remaining game is 'wishful thinking'

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Kobe Bryant's farewell tour is winding down as the 20-year veteran's retirement comes closer by the day. 

There are just 18 games remaining in the regular season for the 13-51 franchise, who enjoyed their best moment of the 2015-16 season with a win over defending champions the Golden State Warriors. 

Bryant returned to action for the game against Stephen Curry and Co. and played a starring role - albeit from the sidelines - as the younger Lakers players credited his coach-like role at the Staples Center. 

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The 37-year-old sat out the 29 point loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday - the third game he had missed in the previous four - as he continues to nurse a shoulder injury that has plagued him all season. 

Having recovered from rotator cuff surgery he had in January 2015, Bryant has posted his healthiest season in three years, but still struggles with issues every time he steps out onto the court. 

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In a perfect world, Kobe would play in every remaining game of the NBA season, however, when questioned on that prospect, the five-time champion sounded less than convinced that it was possible. 

As per ESPN, the 2008 MVP said: "Dude, I don't know. Hopefully all of them. I know that's wishful thinking, but hopefully."

Having returned to the hardwood on Sunday night, the Lakers face the Orlando Magic in their next game on Wednesday before a welcoming LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers to the Staples Center to wrap up the week.

NBA All-Star Game 2016

Despite feeling some discomfort in his right shoulder, the 18-time All-Star said it felt solid, but is prepared to miss games if anything changes. 

"It's sore, but if I feel like it's not clicking or unstable, I'll go out and play," said the number 24. "That being said, it feels solid right now."

Kobe has played 51 games for the Lakers this season and is averaging 16.7 points and 3.2 assists per 28.7 minutes of action per game; some of his lowest numbers since his first couple of years in the league.

Having amassed 1331 games during a stunning career, the effects on his body are clear to see, but there are still moments where Bryant gets ahead of himself. 

 

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers

The two-time scoring champion admitted that he tried to dunk during the blowout win over the Warriors on Sunday night before his shoulder pain reminded him of his physical limitations. 

"Yeah, I forgot about it and I went up, and I thought about dunking it, and I brought the arm back and the shoulder just kind of caught on me," Bryant said. "It is what it is."

There are six road games left in Bryant's NBA career - although one of them at Staples against the Clippers - and you can bet the fans of all the franchises will be praying Kobe is fit enough to suit up one last time in their arena.

Topics:
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Kobe Bryant

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