May 27, 2011, 1:32 PM EDT
Kobe Bryant may only be 32 but he has put a lot of miles on his body.
He has played more minutes than Magic Johnson, more than Larry Bird, and he’s right there with Michael Jordan (which includes the Wizards years we all try to forget). That has taken its toll on knees that have seen multiple surgeries and even have had to be drained during playoff runs.
Last season for the Lakers it was an issue — Kobe rarely practiced with the team. That mean’s he was not there to push them, to demand the attention to detail that wins championships. Under the pressure of the playoffs you saw the results.
Longtime Lakers trainer Gary Vitti, in a detailed interview with our man Mike Trudell at Lakers.com, that Kobe’s knees are not in great shape but they have some miles left on them.
“Structurally there are some issues that cannot be reversed, but can be dealt with. There are a couple of cards we have up our sleeve that we plan on playing, and he and I have been in daily communication about that.”
“We’d like to see him practice more, but we don’t want the time that he spends on the court being spent on frivolous things,” he said. “You gotta get him out there when he needs to be out there, and get him off the floor when he doesn’t. It’s more about quality time than quantity time.”
So, pretty much like every veteran. It’s something Mike Brown and staff need to be aware of next season.
A longer summer off should help Kobe, too.
- Maverick Carter: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade still speak nearly daily 0
- Red hot Ray McCallum leads Sacramento Kings to Summer League title with 77-68 win against Houston 2
- Lakers great Michael Cooper diagnosed with cancer 13
- Report: Stan Van Gundy tells Josh Smith, barring unexpected trade, forward will start season with Pistons 7
- Mike Krzyzewski would trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love with “not one second of hesitancy” 68
- Mario Chalmers: “I never thought anybody would want to leave Miami for Cleveland” 65
- Las Vegas Summer League review: How did Andrew Wiggins, other lottery picks fare? 14
- Report: Knicks open to trading Iman Shumpert or J.R. Smith 29