Kobe Bryant will be 36 by the end of this month, and injuries to his knee and Achilles limited him to six games last season. So it would be understandable if expectations were low heading into this season.
But new Lakers coach Byron Scott isn't buying into that line of thinking. In fact, Scott is projecting Bryant to produce numbers on par with his career averages in three major categories.
Kobe, even "with one leg, can average 20-something points a game," Scott told ThePostGame. "I think that's very realistic. I think he'll do something like that. Five rebounds and five assists a night as well. He's going to surprise a lot of people."
Bryant's career averages are 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists.
Last season was a washout as he averaged a career-low 13.8 points in those six games. But his 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists weren't that far off the pace, so perhaps Scott, a teammate during Bryant's rookie season in 1996-97, isn't really reaching.
"When people start to write him off, that makes him even more driven," Scott said while attending the 14th Annual Harold & Carole Pump Foundation Celebrity Dinner in Century City, California.