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What to expect from Kobe Bryant at age 34

By Barry Stavro

11:00 AM PDT, June 22, 2012

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Jim Buss told T.J. Simers recently to expect the same core of players on the Lakers roster next season.

Kobe Bryant turns 34 in August, and he's already played in 1,381 regular season and playoff games in his 16 seasons with the Lakers. Given all that mileage, what kind of production can the Lakers expect from Bryant in 2012-13?

Based on a study of some other Hall of Famer scorers and how they performed at age 34, the answer is -- quite a lot.

Look at the per-game statistics of these great players at age 34, versus their career numbers. It shows that even during the NBA equivalent of advanced middle age, they still performed close to their best.

 

Julius Erving;           MP;      FG%;       3P%;        FT%;       RPG;      APG;     PTS;

At age 34:              34.8;     51.2%     33.3%;     75.4%;    6.9;        4.0;       22.4;

Career average:      38.4;     50.6%;    29.8%;     77.7%     8.5;        4.2;       24.2;

 

Michael Jordan;      MP;        FG%;       3P%;       FT%;        RPG;      APG;     PTS;

At age 34:              37.9;     48.6%;    37.4%;     83.3%;   5.9;       4.3;       29.6 (led league)

Career average:      38.3;     49.7%;    32.7%;     83.5%;    6.2;       5.3;       30.1;

 

Jerry West;            MP;      FG%;       3P%;       FT%;         RPG;       APG;     PTS;

At age 34:             38.6;     47.7%;      ---         81.4%;     4.2;        9.7;       25.8;

Career average:     39.2;     47.7%;      ---         81.4%;     5.8;        6.7;       27.0;

 

Kobe Bryant:          MP;       FG%;       3P %;      FT%;        RPG;       APG;      PTS;

Career average:     36.5;     45.3%;     33.7%;    83.8%;     5.3;        4.7;       25.4;