Watching the Lakers struggle last night in the 4th quarter against the Spurs after Kobe left the game with back spasms got me wondering about a few things with the Lakers and Kobe. Details after the jump
In Kobe's 13 year career he's never played less than 50 games in a season. In fact the past four seasons he hasn't played less than 75 games. For his career he's played 986 regular season games and 159 post season games for a total of 1145 total games. I was curious to see how this compared to other players around the league. The oldest player in the league ( i think, correct me if I'm wrong) is Shaq. He's played a total of 1304 games and we all know about his production over the past couple of seasons. I also looked at a few guys I thought just played alot of games.
Tim Duncan: 1080 games
Steve Nash: 1074 games
Dirk Nowitzki: 962 games
Paul Pierce: 921 games
Grant Hill (the league's 2nd oldest player): 847 games.
These are just league games and do not include international competition.
Steve Nash's history of back problems is very well chronicled. From the limited research that I've done it seems that the back spasm injury is more pronounced after travelling.(See Larry Bird) Having to sit in the seats on the team plane and team bus and sleeping in hotels may begin to take their toll. Looking at the Lakers upcoming schedule they play the 2nd of a back to back tonight in Dallas, at home Friday for the Clippers and home Monday for the Magic. After that they kick off a east coast road trip Thursday @ Cleveland. During that road trip they'll play 8 games in 12 days.
I wanted to find out what the Lakers record was when Kobe missed time with an injury, but since he hardly takes a game off to rest an injury that stat pretty much doesn't exsist. I never bet against Kobe but I'd think that the back spasm injury could flair up during this upcoming stretch of the schedule.
A Lakers line up without Kobe would probably be:
Bynum, Gasol, Odom, Artest and Fisher starting with Powell, Walton, Vujacic, Brown and Farmer coming off the bench.