From Serena Winters, Lakers Nation: Kobe Bryant spoke to the media at the Los Angeles Lakers training facility for the first time since Lakers media day on Wednesday afternoon, right before the team hopped on a plane headed to Las Vegas. The Lakers are just under three weeks away from opening night. Will Kobe be ready to suit up? “I haven’t said anything and I just keep it all open right now. I don’t know why you guys are so hell bent on timelines it’s like the most ridiculous thing, it’s entertaining. When I’m ready, I’m ready.” Though Kobe wasn’t ready to give a yes/no answer, his conversation with the media this afternoon led to some telling hints about his progression. First, we learned that Kobe is running at 100 percent on the anti-gravity treadmill, which means that Kobe is able to run at his full body weight. Kobe said he’s most concerned about his physical shape, noting that muscle endurance, after being out for six months, takes time. “The explosiveness. The muscle endurance, which takes a little time. And then, you know, I gotta get my fat [expletive] in shape too. Six months of eating whatever the hell I wanted to eat and not running and stuff has caught up to me a little bit so I gotta get in shape.”
From Brett Pollakoff, Pro Basketball Talk: Kobe Bryant has returned from Germany, after embarking on a journey there five days ago to undergo another round of Orthokine treatment to his knee. It was a maintenance procedure following something similar he underwent twice in 2011, and whether or not he personally informed Mike D’Antoni of his trip has essentially nothing to do with Bryant’s timetable for returning to action. Bryant joined his teammates on the bench in Ontario, CA for the Lakers’ preseason game against the Nuggets, and while he didn’t speak to reporters, he did appear briefly for an interview on the Time Warner Cable telecast.
From Eric Pincus, LA Times: At 39 years old, how much does Steve Nash have left to offer? After an injury-ridden debut season with the Lakers, the veteran point guard isn’t entirely sure. “We’ll see. I’ve got to go out and find what kind of player I am now,” he said after practice Wednesday. “Even I’m still trying to figure out, after all the injuries and everything.” Nash broke his leg in the second game of the season. Hip, hamstring and back problems lingered, eventually knocking him out of action again late in the year. Off-season rehab has gotten him back to health, but he said he still doesn’t quite feel like he did a few years ago. “It’s been a difficult 12 months of injuries and stuff,” he said. “[I’m] a little bit [limited] but not necessarily anything that I can’t overcome.”
From ESPN: Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced on Thursday that he’ll no longer be part of ESPN’s NBA coverage because of his other commitments. Johnson, a five-time NBA champion, three-time MVP and member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, joined the network in 2008. He appeared on ESPN and ABC as a studio and game analyst. “We appreciate Magic’s contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors,” John Wildhack,ESPN’s executive vice president, production, said in a statement. “We are in the process of determining our NBA commentator roles for the upcoming season.” Earlier this week, ESPN announced the hiring of former 76ers coach Doug Collins as an analyst on a number of NBA shows. Collins was expected to work alongside Johnson on those shows. “I love ESPN. Unfortunately, due to the nature of my schedule and other commitments, I don’t feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role,” Johnson said in a statement. “I will always feel a strong connection to the ESPN family and I enjoyed working with them very much.”
From TheGreatMambino, Silver Screen & Roll: For the past decade and a half, this specific post has been, quite frankly, really, really boring. “Kobe Bryant will be the Lakers‘ starting shooting guard. He is going to play 35+ minutes a night and he is going to be amazing. Let’s hope that _____ can shore up anywhere between 10 and 13 minutes a night when the Mamba rests and recharges for a fourth quarter surge.” And Kazaam! One 7-foot genie later, we’re done. But with one wrong step on a scoring drive six months ago, this post became infinitely more intriguing. Perhaps not just for now, but for the foreseeable future. Kobe Bryant most likely will not be LA’s opening night shooting guard for the first time since 2006, as he rehabs from a ruptured Achilles tendon. The team has still not given out a specific time table for the two-time Finals MVP’s return, but the usual recovery schedule from such an injury is anywhere from six to nine months. You’re on the clock, Mamba.
I love to read pre-season prediction around this time of year. Like the fact that this article list contenders in A & B groups, as well as every other team. Nice piece: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9790038/ranking-nba-tiers-power-2013-14-season
Kobe: In one article we are hearing about 100% of weight and he might be back by opening night. In another article, we are reading about the fact that who is starting at the #2 slot could be an issue for the forseeable future. This is not normal. Stating 6-9 months at the start of this was normal. And stating something like 1-2 months would be normal now. Having the time range be from 19 days to 4 months is not normal. Sorry – I know I talked about this before, but this is important, and the issue is still being written about daily and the guidance still has not changed. On 10/28, is the “range” going to be 1 day to 3 months? At some point are they going to actually say whether he is playing or is he just going to be “questionable” every game until he comes back no matter how long that is. R Westbrooke is “estimated” to be out 4-6 weeks. There is no speculation of him playing on opening night, and there is no speculation that he might miss 1/2 the season. Yes – it is a different injury – less serious – all the more reason why the 19 day mark might be unreasonable. And if it isn’t unreasonable – then the 4 month mark should be removed.
@bigcitysid nice piece indeed but i hope the Lakers are not as bad as it makes them out to be. It makes them look like a 15-67 team.Sheesh
T. Rogers says
All things considered I think we would be doing good to see Kobe on Christmas. He still has to get himself into shape. He still needs more work on his achilles to make sure he can do all the cuts and quick lateral movements. Think of that quick turnaround fade away Kobe loves to do. I think Christmas is a good estimate based on what we do know.
Of course, once he’s back on the floor he has to get his timing back and get into “game” shape. So while we may see Kobe Bryant in December, we may not see the “Black Mamba” again until around All Star break. And based on the severity of his injury that’s pretty realistic. All that being said we still need to cross our fingers.
I obviously have no idea when KB will be back, but I would bet on Christmas.