Kobe Bryant and Stephen Jackson were both born in 1978. Bryant began playing professionally for the Lakers in 1996-97 and Jackson the following season in the CBA. Bryant has played 21,186 minutes or seven 82-game seasons (averaging 40 minutes per game) more than Jackson if you add up all the playoff games, according to research done by Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. That helps to explain why Bryant looked slow and old during the Lakers’ second-round playoff ouster at the hands of Dallas.
Here’s Bryant’s workload in the last four seasons:
He played in all 92 games this season (including 10 in the playoffs).
He played all but nine of 105 games last season (missing nine regular season games).
He played in all 105 games in 2008-09.
He also played in all 103 games in 2007-08.
That’s not counting the Olympics in 2008 or All-Star games in each season or exhibition games.