Kobe Fights Unfamiliar Foe: Age
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2009 5:18 PM CDT
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and coach Phil Jackson watch practice.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Kobe Bryant has logged a lot of miles on his 30-year-old legs, which might just add a dollop of extra pressure as the NBA finals start tonight, writes Mike Bresnahan in the Los Angeles Times. It's finally legit to ask, how many more chances will he get? Since turning pro at age 17, Bryant has played 1,118 games—that's 340 more than Michael Jordan at the same age. “The window for Bryant's career is only a handful of years from sliding shut,” says Bresnahan.

That makes the finals against the Magic even more important. “There’s definitely more of a sense of urgency to have results and not miss out on the end result after a whole season,” a teammate said. “That's just not acceptable. I know that's where he is and I can't blame him.” Bryant himself says he takes it all in stride. “I'm not worried about it," he said. “The urgency is there just because it's there.”