Kobe Will Not Play Friday, But is Still Very Close to Returning

Darius Soriano —  December 5, 2013

The bad news is that Kobe will not play in Friday’s game versus the Kings. When he announced the release of his new kicks, he also broke it to the press that he had ruled himself out for a return in Sacramento.

The good news, however, is that Kobe practiced today for the 3rd consecutive day and had no limitations. Further good news is that while he acknowledges there are still things for him to shore up physically, he also says (in the video above) that he is moving to the point where he is more day-to-day and game-to-game than he is forecasting a return at some point in the distant future.

The possibility is quite real that he returns against the Raptors on Sunday to make his season debut in front of his home crowd and against the franchise he had one of his greatest career accomplishments ever. It would be a fitting return if Kobe could make his first appearance of the season at Staples in a more than winnable game. It would also help if he got back sooner rather than later considering the back court injuries the team is dealing with.

In any event, enjoy the clip at the top of this post. Kobe talks about his injury, his path of recovery, what motivates him today, and what he plans to give on the floor in his final 2+ seasons (hint: everything he has).

Darius Soriano

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23 responses to Kobe Will Not Play Friday, But is Still Very Close to Returning

  1. darius: on the cusp of a new beginning. hollywood couldn’t have written a better script and yet here we are. love him or not, kobe bryant, he’s as closest anyone can get to being the modern day gladiator. this was meant to be.

    what we do in life, echoes in eternity.

    Go Lakers

  2. Man, I am looking forward to seeing the return of the Mamba. He will bring all he has, and I think that even his detractors hope he has plenty left.

  3. More than a few radio commentators noted that Kobe’s comeback has to occur at Staples (not on the road). Just makes sense from a business and emotional perspective.

  4. Playing Sunday

  5. Just goes to show you money doesn’t equal basketball IQ.

    Nets are the worst team I have seen in years and Kidd look clueless also.

  6. We need kobe for every game…if he is waiting for a home game that sucks….
    esp if we miss the playoffs by one game
    ..he should nt return just cause its a winnable game…

  7. @ Ken the Nets are the biggest mess i seen in a while scratch that not even whe Zeke was ruinning the Knicks they reached this level, i dont remember something stupider than trading away all your picks until 2019 for 3 over the hill thirtysomething washed up players and then hire a coach with 0 experience coaching at any level. They are going to get crushed by the luxury cap this season and the next and dont have any way of rebuilding either thru the draft or by trades. From the ruskie all the way down to Kidd they are all clueless. We should be thankful that the Lakers despite everything are not even 10 light years close to this level of arrogance and stupidity.

  8. @ Gene, Kobe will come back when he feels comfortable, what if he comes too soon and hurt the heel again? The Lakers are doing ok without him and its not like we facing the Heat Friday, winnable game even with our injuries.

  9. By the way with Griz losing tonight, a Suns loss tomorrow with Laker win and it’s 9th which could mean Sunday Kobe comes back to hit 8th place in the West.

    Or 3rd place in the East. Haha

  10. @Ken, think it’s about time for the NBA to realign conferences? The West is so much stronger than the East, it’s not even funny.

  11. home court should probably go to the stronger conference for the finals, among other things. that would even things out… (they are not doing that already, are they? not been paying attention since the last time we’ve been to the finals)

  12. darius: from an article in yesterday’s news, this is the new and improved kobe bryant:

    “The perfect-case scenario is that we get it right the first time. But if it’s not, then you have to be smart about it as well and take a step back and build up the strength and say, ‘Hey, listen, it’s not as good as we thought it was going to be, so let’s take a step back and get it to where we want it to be and try again.”

    can see this as cautiously optimistic and measured at the same time. with experience comes wisdom. with wisdom comes a newfound maturity. things we take for granted.

    looking forward to seeing xavier henry handle the point position tonite versus sacramento; knowing going in that the kings will be prepared to test xavier’s level of point guard competenance. should be key to the outcome of tonite’s game.

    Go Lakers

  13. Parrothead Phil December 6, 2013 at 7:26 am

    @Harold No, the NBA has not changed the way home court is determined. Home court is still determined by best regular season record.

  14. harold,
    Interesting…I wonder, would you want it to be measured by total wins for all the teams qualifying for the playoffs in the conference? You couldn’t limit this kind of thing to one team – by your definition. How would individual teams take this kind of measurement when we have a ‘winner take all’ kind of mentality?

  15. I really think the NBA should realign conferences. Makes no sense to have both the Lakers and Clippers in one conference, as well as the Nicks and Nets in another.

    I get that the NBA wanted to eliminate lengthy plane rides, but now that we have jet driven airplanes the current conference set up is dumb. Not sure why the owners put up with it.

  16. There could be some light at the tunnel. The league just moved to change the Finals format that had been in place for about 30 years. Maybe that’s a sign that Adam Silver is more open to change.

    I remember when the conferences used to have their own identities. The West was all about fast pace, beat you down the floor, and run up the score. The East was slow, beat you up in the paint, and not let you score. Now its much simpler. The West is good and the East is terrible.

    But its time for change. At the very least the playoffs should consists of the top sixteen teams by record. That is a start. There is no way a team should be able to lose more than half their games and still make the postseason. But there could end up being three teams in the East who do that this season.

  17. Interesting opinions from ESPN’s 5 on 5 B-Ball experts discussing “what to expect when Kobe returns”:

  18. The league will drag it’s heels on a new playoff format because the Eastern Conference markets are on average, larger than the Western Conference. Can’t have a playoff system that doesn’t maximize viewership.

  19. Kamen trade on works by Dec 15th.

  20. Surprised the Lakers haven’t addressed the injury situation at the point guard position. Blake is battling through a hyper-extended elbow as well. XMan at the point doesn’t sound right to me.

  21. Various sources are reporting that the Bean will play Sunday vs. Toronto. I’m looking for 81 points from him, given the opponent!

  22. Kobe will most likely play the point which is why the probably why the team hasn’t made a move there…Sunday!!!

  23. Really don’t think Kobe playing point now is such a great idea. Ballhandling and passing is where rust usually show up most. Was really looking forward to seeing Kobe and this new, improved version of Jordan Farmar’s sharing the Lakers’ backcourt. Unfortunately, that will have to wait.