Skip to content

Kobe Bryant doesn’t know if he’ll be ready for opening night

Aug 16, 2013, 10:16 AM EDT

SPORTS SPECTACULAR & KVBFF PRESENT: KOBE UP CLOSE Hosted By Jimmy Kimmel Getty Images

The Achilles injury Kobe Bryant suffered would keep most players out until the middle of next season or longer — at his age that injury is career threatening.

But he has targeted trying to be back for opening night. Thursday night he was center stage at the Nokia Theater across from Staples Center for an event called “Kobe Up Close Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel” which was really a fundraiser for the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation, which is trying to reduce homelessness.

Of course Kimmel asked Kobe about when he’ll be back (Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times was on hand for the event).

“I don’t know if I’ll be ready for opening night. I really don’t know,” Bryant said. “I know I’m really, really ahead of schedule….

“With an Achilles’ injury, it’s just one of those freak situations,” said Bryant, who didn’t want to blame his April season-ending tear on playing too many minutes.

Achilles heal at their own pace, it’s not an injury where more therapy or pushing through the pain really solves everything. There is also a risk of setbacks. Kobe will be back as fast as any human, but when is up in the air.

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told ESPN Radio in Los Angeles (as reported by the Times’ Pincus) that when and how well Kobe returns will be the key to the Lakers season.

“Kobe is a big question mark,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak to Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio on Thursday. “We’re very optimistic. He’s getting treatment every day. He’s in the facility right now, but he hasn’t been on a basketball court.”

At his charity event, Kobe said what he hoped for was a reduced role this season.

“That’s the goal,” Bryant said. “We got a little younger and picked up a couple of wing players who I really think will help us tremendously next year — Nick Young and Wesley Johnson. I really look forward to them easing the load.”

Sure. Kobe is just the kind of guy who will take his foot off the gas so the erratic Nick Young can get extra minutes in an important game.

If things go well these Lakers will still be fighting for one of the bottom playoff seeds in the West. Kobe has been offended than an ESPN panel picked them 12th in the West (I think it will be 10th), and he’s going to want to be out there to prove everyone — including Mother Nature — wrong. It’s how he operates.

What kind of player he is when he returns will determine what seed they are fighting for.

  1. legend30 - Aug 16, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    They should tank for Wiggins or Randle, instead they will be fighting for the 7th or 8th seed.

  2. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 16, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    That is a flat out lie and Kobe knows it. He’ll never embrace a reduced role for Nick Young and Wesley Johnson.

  3. mauldawg - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Kobe is an attention whore. Everything is about him.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Yeah, how dare Kobe host a fundraiser for homeless in Los Angeles. What a jerk!

      • mauldawg - Aug 16, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        Like I said an attention whore. Look at me everyone I am the great Kobe!! Kneel before me and kiss my behind. Once a jerk always a jerk.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Woodson, D'Antoni's coaching futures
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Williams (4628)
  2. D. Wade (4505)
  3. K. Love (4497)
  4. L. James (3909)
  5. S. Curry (3778)
  1. G. Dragic (3658)
  2. D. Howard (3591)
  3. C. Anthony (3585)
  4. R. Rondo (3480)
  5. R. Westbrook (3399)