The Last Time We Saw Mamba

2013-2015 should be deemed the 'Lost Tapes' years for Kobe Bryant. This era was effectively the most injury plagued segment of his career with multiple rehabilitation attempts upon rehabilitation attempts. 

The genesis of the 'Lost Tape' years occurred with the "super-team" additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard in the offseason. After a season consisting mostly of sporadic injuries and subpar production due to lack of cohesion, Kobe was forced into Kobe mode, essentially ramping up his playing time to 48 MPG, every single night.



This go-around, his body couldn't take it. Literally two days after setting a record for being the first player in NBA history to total 47 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks and 3 steals, he ruptures his Achilles against the baby Dubs (they hadn't quite reached Super Saiyan mode yet, although Curry had 47 points in this game but at the same time Draymond was racking up DNPs).

Kobe ended up finishing this game with 34 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, injuring himself on three separate occasions during this contest with the last time being the fatal blow. 

Unfortunately, this game signaled the "end" of Kobe as we knew him. Even after he rehabbed and came back in December of the following season, he was a shell of himself. Often times he was virtually absent on defense, partly because he lost so much quickness, but also because he knew he couldn't make the quick adjustments he once could, deciding to rely more on help D.

On offense, he became a VOLUME, volume shooter, if that's even possible, often putting up terrible shooting percentages and ill-advised heroic shots in spurts where heroics weren't even necessary. 

However, on the night of Kobe's jersey(s) retirement, I present the glory, and pain, of the last time we really saw Mamba: