19-year veteran, Kobe Bryant, is set to reclaim his mark on the NBA this upcoming season, convalescing from the lower body injuries that have been hindering his time on the court.
Just 16 months ago, Bryant was in the hospital getting his Achilles tendon re-attached by some of the best doctors the world has to offer. Returning on December 8 of last season, Bryant gave everyone reasons to believe he would come back at full speed, and be the same player again.
He was just too afraid to admit that wasn’t possible, since he was out of shape, slow, and the entire pace of the game had caught Kobe off guard when he hit the floor vs. Toronto.
Bryant played six games during the initial comeback, before going down again due to another leg issue. Against Memphis on December 17, he tried to take Tony Allen in the post and spin to the rack near the block. Falling down by losing balance — or absorbing contact from the reaching Allen — Bryant suffered a fractured lateral tibial plateau, a bone that’s right near the kneecap.
The speculation was that he would miss six weeks, as medical analysts tried to downplay the severity of the injury because, well … it’s Kobe, not your average athlete or human being.
However, Garry Vitti and the Los Angeles Lakers training staff convinced Kobe it was best to rest for the remainder of the year, and make his comeback in 2014-15.
He bought into the idea (surprisingly), and will be with the Lakers during training camp, preseason, and opening night.
What should we look for Bryant to achieve this season, with the roster being down in the dumps? Mitch Kupchak struck out on Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and even their own free agent, Pau Gasol, meaning you’re stuck with the leftovers.
How can Bryant respond with what he’s been given?