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Kobe and The King? What the Odds Say of a Potential Lakers Comeback


Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports. Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) guards Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) on the court in the first half of the game at Staples Center.

  • With Shaq causing rumors of a Kobe comeback, odds are available on whether he'll come out of retirement.
  • At +5000, there is less than a 2% chance of him joining forces with LeBron this season.
  • Several other Kobe-related props were posted, including how his potential performance this season will compare to LeBron's.

Not too long ago, Shaq — Shaquille O’Neal to the layperson — was asked whether he would come out of retirement to play with LeBron on the Lakers.

Shockingly, he said no.

However, in what most people would assume was a sarcastic manner, he added that he heard Kobe Bryant was coming out of retirement to play with LeBron.

Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, has since stated that he will not be coming out of retirement, but that hasn’t stopped sportsbooks from posting odds on a return of the Mamba. A slew of props regarding a potential comeback have also been posted, if you’d like to tie up your money for no reason.

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Will Kobe Bryant return to the Lakers in 2018/19?

  • Yes: +5000

Sorry, Kobe fans! Shaq’s remarks haven’t made too much of an impact on the oddsmakers, as there’s less than a 2% chance of him giving up the good life to get back in NBA shape and make the Lakers even more of a chemistry nightmare.

Will Kobe Bryant win the MVP? 

  • Yes: +10000

Welp, maybe Kobe should reconsider and come back. These odds suggest that there’s a 1% chance he wins the MVP next year. Apparently just getting back into the league is half the battle!

Next team

If you think he’ll come back, but not positive he’ll join the Lakers, I’d seek psychiatric care. Either that, or bet on this prop.


  • Over: 19.5 -145
  • Under: 19.5 +125

He’s still going to have that scoring touch, apparently, as 19.51 points per game seems doable, per the oddsmakers. I believe he wouldn’t play enough minutes or get enough shots in his upcoming fantasyland season to rack up 20 a night, but what do I know?

More points

  • Kobe: +200
  • LeBron: -250

More rebounds

  • Kobe: +140
  • LeBron: -170

More assists

  • Kobe: +135
  • LeBron: -165

These three props are … interesting. They’re worded like they’re cumulative totals, not per-game amounts. If that’s the case, I reckon LeBron should be about -1000 for every one.

In his final season, Kobe had less than four rebounds per game and less than three assists per game, giving him totals of 247 and 184, respectively. LeBron posted 709 boards and 747 assists last year.

LeBron could play maybe 25 games the entire season and still have more, but once again, all of this discussion is pointless. Kobe ain’t coming back.

Will LeBron James surpass Kobe’s total championship rings?

  • Yes: +200
  • No: -200
  • Tie: -600

This is the only one of the props that isn’t tied to Kobe coming back. It’s also perhaps the most laughable, as the odds include both a -200 and -600 option. Not sure I’ve ever seen that before.

The implied probability of these odds add up to about 185%. All right, enough of these Kobe props for me. I’m done. Have a good one.

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