By luzer / C. J. ( [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

If this weekend’s All-Star Game was a retirement party for Kobe Bryant, the Lakers look pretty dumb giving him $48.5 million over the next two years.

That makes Bryant, who is currently 35 and recovering from multiple injuries and the embarrassment of playing for a terrible team, the highest paid player in the NBA. That is extra impressive, since he doesn’t actually play these days.

Mark Heisler, who contributes to this site, writes over at Forbes that those who think Kobe is done are quite possibly mistaken.

Bryant was born to tilt at the impossible, a conditioning zealot and workout maniac who developed an off-the-charts skill level that can compensate for what he has lost (if he deems it necessary, which he never did before).

Indeed, he showed what he could still do in his last game in December, tottering on shaky legs after eight months off—but, indeed, adjusting–scoring 21 points with five rebounds and four assists against Memphis’ formidable Tony Allen, before learning he’d been playing on a fracture.

“Bryant,” Heisler explains, “doesn’t have a career but a heart-felt belief that he’s fulfilling a personal destiny—which, he once told me, he realized at age six.”

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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