Around The World (Wide Web): Kobe Is Getting Closer

Ryan Cole —  October 15, 2013

From Elizabeth Benson, Lakers Nation: While the Lakers are preparing for two exhibition games in China this week, the major focus remains on Kobe Bryant and his Achilles recovery. After all, the Lakers’ performance this season will most likely be determined by when Kobe returns and how effective he will be after suffering the most serious injury of his career. Last week, Kobe revealed that he had been given the green light to increase his workouts and conditioning process, and he also claimed that he needed three weeks of intensive conditioning to get back into game shape. In Beijing, Kevin Ding talked to Kobe about his progress with his Achilles. Bryant shared: “I haven’t had any pain or any soreness whatsoever. It’s kind of a flexibility thing, and getting the range of motion back—feel like you can bend without having to lift the heel up. After months of the tendon being compressed, now you have to work to stretch it out a little bit.”

From Brett Pollakoff, Pro Basketball Talk: Last season: It was supposed to be yet another year spent contending for a championship for a storied Lakers franchise that already has 16 of them. L.A. loaded up with free agent talent in Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, and was on paper the team most believed would stand in the way of a second straight Miami Heat title. Instead, it was a season full of drama and disaster. The Lakers were decimated by injuries to nearly anyone that mattered, Howard struggled to embrace head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system and playing alongside Kobe Bryant, and the team snuck into the playoffs only to be swept in the first round by the Spurs. If all of that wasn’t bad enough, Bryant went down with a torn Achilles injury near the end of last season that will have a lingering effect on the team entering this one.

From With an injured Kobe Bryant on the bench, the Los Angeles Lakers will be looking at different player combinations when they play the Golden State Warriors. “We have guys competing for jobs,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said at practice Monday. “They’re trying to earn jobs. So it’s a hard time for these players but they’re doing well.” Although he made the trip to China, Bryant has not yet returned to game action as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles tendon and ailing right knee. The China trip is part of the NBA’s Global Games, an effort to promote the league’s global brand. The league played its first international game when Washington visited Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel in 1978. By the end of this season, the NBA will have played nearly 150 of them, including 18 during the regular season. Pau Gasol said the Lakers have enough on offense to make up for Bryant’s absence.

From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: We’re here because we love the Los Angeles Lakers — well, most of us — and we’ve been accustomed to winning championships being the source of joy. The reason the purple and gold play professional basketball is simple — to be the best in the league and add to that majestic championship tally. Hate to break it to you, but this current Lakers squad isn’t likely to add to the banners hanging in Staples Center. And that’s fine. It’s hard to appreciate the little things when the big picture is blocking the view. Last season was a reminder that not all big productions turn into box office hits. It happens. What we’re left with are the props, gag reels and a few actors who were left behind in Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. The rest are the extras who are sticking around to earn their pay check and become the first group of Lakers to wear “Hollywood Nights” jerseys. And that’s fine too.


Ryan Cole


16 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Kobe Is Getting Closer

  1. Slow news day I see…

  2. Lakers played great today. If the starters had finished the game we would have defeated GSW handily. I am really impressed with the way this team has played. The 2 final cuts should be DJO and Marcus Landry. Also, I am impressed with MDA thus far.

  3. Odom is in El Segundo for an interview today??

  4. Jay A,

    Did you see the game? If so, how did Kelly look? Since he finally played, I wonder if he has any chance to make the roster.


  5. Jay

    Made 2 3 pointers looked good shooting but made a few errors. Think he is a player and could be good stretch.

  6. What I notice no one is talking about…DA’s system..This is not 7 seconds or less..or even close…What ever it is..its good..Pick and Rolls..Open Shots for shooters…Scores around 100’s…So far so good !!!

  7. Ryan Kelly can shoot. He played well today and should make the team.

  8. Thanks, that’s good news about Kelly. I’m curious to see how he plays at the NBA level, particularly in the MDA offense (and the Rambis defense).

  9. Am concerned if Johnson and Farmar can get enough PT to be in shape for the season start.

  10. Team: Playing a little better than I thought they would at this point for sure, but it is very hard to tell from these type of games. With our older stars, I would not assume that everything will great when they start playing more minutes. And that is – if they do – we may not see the minutes distribution of the sort we are seeing now, but I think even MD has learned his lesson with regard to the 7 man rotation and the max minutes for the stars. 30 minutes type games for the starters will not be uncommon, so the bench will need to be able to play against the opposition’s starters.

    From Darius’ Tweet: “Stu on the Lakers’ D last year: “You have to be on the same page. Last year, some nights they weren’t even in the same book.” Well – when I went to school there was usually a professor in the front who said – “Please open your books to Page __” Kids who forgot their books were told to leave or stand in the corner. Teachers who did not do this were usually either subs or non-tenured types who did not know better. Was all of this Dwight’s fault? Was he the kid who disrupted the entire room? I’m just sayin : )

  11. Was he the kid who disrupted the entire room?

    I think that was actually Kobe.

    But I see the point.

  12. I am with you Kobe was throwing the crayons. DH was just his favorite target : )

  13. Last year was a sh**show defensively. No one disputes this. Analysis on that points to several factors including personnel, coaching, injuries, and, most of all (at least in my opinion) continuity. Last year, there simply wasn’t any of that, not with the head coaching change (and him working from behind the 8 ball from the minute he came on) and with guys constantly being in and out of the lineup.

    This year, you can already see the difference in defensive ability of this team. And I think it points to the same factors — personnel (younger legs who belong to better athletes), coaching (more emphasis, based on reports, as well as Rambis’ influence), and continuity (most of the players have been playing together in LA for a while before camp started and few of the main guys have missed multiple practices or games).

  14. Darius – agreed on all points

    The real test will occur when the season starts and we see the actual defensive performance. Can the younger legs (in some spots), the better coaching (w Rambis as defensive coordinator), and the continuity (nowhere to go but up) all overcome the loss of our top two defensive talents (DH + MWP)?

  15. This year, you can already see the difference in defensive ability of this team.

    We’ll see. They have added Rambis and a few guys with decent lateral movement and foot speed. On the other hand, they have lost Howard and we can expect relatively heavy minutes from Kaman, both with and without Pau. Jordan Hill is not a great interor defender by any means, and Nick Young has never been a good defensive player. Farmar, Henry, and Johnson should all help with the perimeter and transition D.