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Kobe Bryant thinks he will play in season opener Oct. 29

Sep 27, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT

Kobe prepares to throw a basketball to fans while attending a youth basketball final match in Hong Kong Reuters

We know Kobe Bryant isn’t going to be ready to go at the start of training camp — he has yet to fully run on a treadmill at 100 percent, let alone get on the court and make cuts or do other basketball moves. Team officials dodge the timeline question but are understandably cautious.

Kobe says he thinks he will be ready to go in the Lakers season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers.

Kobe is in Dubai promoting health and fitness (we brought you some of his quotes from there yesterday) but Mark Medina unearthed an interview where Kobe said he thought he would be ready for opening night.

“Now it’s about cutting the recovery time, I should be OK [for the start of the season],” Bryant said in an interview with The National, a website in Dubai.

We’ll see, he’s coming back from a ruptured Achilles and those can be tricky. The Lakers are trying to get him right and not rush him back, but I’m not about to question the will power, pain tolerance or healing powers of Kobe Bryant.

If the Lakers are going to make the playoffs in a deep Western Conference they have little margin for error — they need Kobe back early and playing well. They need some other things, too (Pau Gasol and Steve Nash to stay healthy, for one) but it kind of all hinges on Kobe.

His confidence in his return and in himself is both expected and good news for Lakers fans.

  1. kb2408 - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Of course he will, he’s Kobe freaking Bryant. Seriously, I am very anxious to see how effective Kobe will be going forward. I don’t expect number 8 Kobe who could put up 50 on anyone. But a version of Kobe that can go for 22-25 points a game on 45-48% from the field, along with 4-6 assists, would be just fine for the LAKERS. Kobe will have to rely on his teammates more than at anytime in his illustrious career this season. I just hope Kobe realizes the same thing and doesn’t feel the need to prove to everyone that he still has it. I am an apologetic fan of his, and more importantly of the LAKERS, but even I can get frustrated with him sometimes. I’ve learned to accept the good and the bad with Kobe. The good far outweighs the bad….to the tune of five championship parades during his era. Along with Magic, he is still my favorite LAKER.

    • galdar30 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      Nope he will not

  2. loungefly74 - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    would that be the fastest turnaround ever for an injury like that in basketball?

    the guy is a warrior.

    • benndover - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      the ONLY reason Kobe had a speedy recovery was because it wasnt that bad in the first place..The Lakers were getting smoked in the playoffs and Kobe dint want the blame on him…so down he went….

      One phrase for the Clippers in that season opener: ” Sweep the Leg”

    • antistratfordian - Sep 27, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      Yeah, the guy who missed 8 games because of shin splints is a real warrior.

      It isn’t a warrior’s mentality that is driving Kobe in any case… it’s vanity. Ego. He absolutely suffers from advanced narcissistic personality disorder.

      • spthegr8 - Sep 27, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        Are you trying to dispute Kobe being tough?? Cuz if you are, your just lead foot “Trolling”?!?!?!?! & I for one can’t take you serious!!

      • antistratfordian - Sep 27, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        Kobe is fake tough. Like Kevin Garnett. Kobe cries too much to be a genuine tough guy.

      • spthegr8 - Sep 27, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        Garnett is a fake tough guy. Act’s like he is ready to hurt somebody but he wouldnt bust a grape in a fruit fight. I think you are a bit confused. We are saying Kobe is tough as in, he will ( & does ) Play thru ANY injury he can play thru. Are you saying this is not a fast turn around for such a serious injury??

      • antistratfordian - Sep 29, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        I’m not confused – Garnett is also a fake tough guy. If I was talking about fake tough guyism I would’ve used the term.

        The turnaround time has nothing to do with toughness. You can argue that it makes him more foolish than anything. But Kobe is a crier (real tears, not just whining) and he tries to protect his fragile interior with this hard facade.

        “We are saying Kobe is tough as in, he will ( & does ) Play thru ANY injury he can play thru”

        However bad you think Kobe’s injuries are – if he’s playing with it, it’s not that bad. It’s nothing more than any other player would play with.

        His reputation exceeds reality because its largely based on his own exaggerated declarations on the severity of his injuries. Kobe doing this sort of thing to enhance his image has been noted by Phil Jackson.

      • mytthor - Sep 27, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        Ladies and gentlemen, the great psychic PBT poster! You want to know what’s in someone’s head? Here’s your man.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 29, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        All true. Thank you for the kind words, sir.

      • loungefly74 - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        i’ve seen your comments. you are a strange one…to spend so much time spewing negativity on issues/players you dont care for. basically, you are a drama-queen. yep. that is what you shall forever be known as.

        well, drama queen, his injury was estimated to be one that required a lengthy time off. if he is back by nov/dec…that is a quick turnaround.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 8, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        That’s interesting, I don’t recognize your name at all – but thanks for remembering me! I try.

        You can call me whatever you want, isn’t going to change the facts about Kobe being soft.

      • loungefly74 - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        yeah…i normally dont reply to trolls…

        whatever. hate all you want. Lakers have done great during kobe’s tenure…a fact you cant change.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        They did great during Phil Jackson’s tenure. They missed the playoffs during Kobe’s true tenure.

      • loungefly74 - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        kobe played on phil’s team. your attempt to negate any success the Lakers had from Kobe is silly. it shows how myopic you are.they went to 7 Finals during Kobe’s career so far. that’s the fact. you can speculate about this and that…his shooting %, etc.. but at the end of the day…Kobe played a critical role on their 5 titles during his time there…

      • antistratfordian - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        They went to 7 Finals during Fisher’s career there too. The primary reasons for that have to do with 1) Phil Jackson and 2) Shaq/Gasol… everyone else has to fall in line after that.

      • loungefly74 - Oct 17, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        Fisher was pivotal…but not nearly as much as Kobe. Fisher was more of a role player. not really a good comparison but i understand it…(same reason why robert horry is not the “greatest player ever with his 7 rings” argument!)

        PJ is the main cog for the finals trips. i agree. Shaq as well. Gasol? yeah, to a certain extent but they were Kobe-lead teams during the last titles…not taking anything away from Gasol…he was invaluable.

        I think your analysis downplays Kobe’s involvement and importance a little too much…but that is okay, you are entitled to your opinion…which creates great sports banter. The most important thing to me as a Laker fan is…they won some titles and had successful seasons. The organization comes first as far as who i root for. heck…if, for example, KG or Wade was to join the Lakers, I would become an instant fan of him…due to him playing for the Lakers. you must understand that Lakers fans have a strong argument for cherishing Kobe’s contribution to the Lakers.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 18, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        “PJ is the main cog for the finals trips. i agree. Shaq as well. Gasol? yeah, to a certain extent but they were Kobe-lead teams during the last titles…not taking anything away from Gasol…”

        You ARE taking away from Gasol, though. Winter’s triangle needs a Gasol type player more than it needs a Kobe type player. That’s just the nature of the triangle – it’s supposed to be built around a 7 footer, and preferably one who can pass like Shaq and Gasol. (“Some critics believe that you need to have players of Michael and Kobe’s caliber to make it work. Actually, the reverse is true… The triangle offense was designed for centers who could dominate the lane, post up effectively, and catalyze the offense with sharp passing.” – P. Jackson)

        It’s no wonder that the fortune of the Lakers completely shifted the moment Gasol arrived. He was THE key cog. Without him there would’ve just been more 2005, 2006 and 2007. Here’s Phil Jackson’s take from Eleven Rings:

        “The Pau deal reminded me of the moment in 1968 when the Knicks acquired Dave DeBusschere in a trade with Detroit, a deal one writer called ‘the basketball equivalent of the Louisiana Purchase.’ Like DeBusschere, Pau was mature and intelligent with a deep understanding of the game and a willingness to take on a diminished role, if necessary, to improve the team’s chances of winning. As soon as he arrived, we transformed from a team struggling to eke out 100 points a game to a fast-paced scoring machine, averaging 110-plus and having a lot more fun doing it.

        Pau’s game was ideally suited for the triangle: Not only was he a sold seven-foot, 250-pound post player with a wide range of midrange jumpers, hook shots, and strong up-and-under moves, but he also was an excellent passer and rebounder who was quick enough to ignite fast breaks.

        Before Pau came on the scene, we were going through a minor losing streak, and some of the younger players are starting to act out in ways that were having a negative effect on morale. But all of those issues disappeared as soon as Pau showed up. For one thing, the trade removed two of the most rebellious players – Kwame and Javaris. But even more important, Pau’s gracious demeanor shifted the emotional climate on the team. It was hard to complain when one of the finest talents in the league was playing alongside you, doing whatever it took to win.

        Pau’s arrival also allowed several players to expand their games in unexpected ways. Lamar Odom, for example, had been struggling for years… But Pau’s presence on the floor took the pressure off and freed Lamar to revert to the looser, freewheeling style of ball he was more comfortable with.

        Kobe’s game changed for the better as well. Pau’s presence gave Kobe the opportunity to focus more attention on playmaking and letting other players take shots. That made him a better team player overall.

        All of a sudden, everything started to break our way. With Pau in the lineup, we went on a 26-8 run and finished the season with the best record in the Western Conference, 57-25.”

        I am not downplaying Kobe’s importance. I am putting Mamba in proper perspective for Lakers fans who think the Post-Shaq Lakers were always catalyzed by him.

      • loungefly74 - Oct 21, 2013 at 8:29 AM

        As a fan who watched the Laker games…I know Pau was essential to their success. Though…Kobe was the driving force…he was the undisputed leader on the post-shaq teams. Would they have won without Pau? no way. Would Jordan have won without Pippen? i doubt it. (using that as an analogy to display the importance of skilled teammates in key roles.) I’m sure i clearly stated Gasol was a key player to those titles…if we were playing a game to measure the importance of the players…Kobe was a 10…Pau was a 9.9. pretty dang close in my opinion. is that a staining remark to Gasol? no way. heck, im sure if you ask Gasol, he would say the same.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:52 PM

        Would they have won without Pau? no way. Would Jordan have won without Pippen? i doubt it.

        Here’s the difference – Pippen did not lead those Bulls teams statistically in overall production ratings like Win Share. In fact, Pippen never even got close. But Pau Gasol led those championship Lakers teams in certain key metrics where Jordan led his Bulls.

        You appreciate Pau – I see that – but you are not fully appreciating Pau. He was far more instrumental than you are realizing.

      • loungefly74 - Oct 30, 2013 at 9:29 AM

        whoa. i’m the Laker fan here, dude…i appreciate all Laker players…and i dont look too deep into sabermetric stats which i feel are totally blown out of proportion. they are a tool that can help…but i took stats (again now in my Masters program)…and numbers can be skewed any way to that person’s liking. i’m not going to downplay pippen’s role…without him, no way bulls get 6 rings. he doesnt have to lead the team in those metric stats to prove he was an important player. look…Laker fans…and most NBA fans will tell you that Kobe lead the charge on their last 2 titles…and…thats it.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 30, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        I don’t care about what “most NBA fans” will tell me. Most NBA fans are idiots.

      • loungefly74 - Nov 1, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        that’s another spot we differ on. i respect most fans…to be entertained…that’s the point of sports.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 27, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      I remember LaPhonso Ellis injured his Achilles in late April and was back around Thanksgiving time… so it would definitely be up there.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:42 AM

        I don’t understand all the thumbs down?? He injured it on April 4 and returned on November 12? Is it because I got the time of April wrong?

      • jimeejohnson - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:49 PM

        I’ll explain the thumbs downs: people see your username and bang…thumbs down! Not me. I appreciate the fragment police.

  3. spthegr8 - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Yeah it would be but from Kobe, should we expect anything less???

  4. fj45landcruiser - Sep 27, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Anybody else thinking this season for Kobe could turn out very much like Derek Jeter’s did?

  5. money2long - Sep 27, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    it’s a sign of respect when you neglect the greatness. and it shows how consumed you are with his place in history that you seek to bash it. you’re only making yourself look bad you haters. or should i say heathens.

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM


  6. zoomy123 - Sep 27, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Science > Kobe. Kobe isn’t even RUNNING at full speed on 100% of his body weight, let alone making basketball moves, and the season starts in 1 month. Is he going to be cutting and making basketball moves on 100% of his body weight in 1 month? And doing it at an All-Star level? That’s doubtful.

  7. andiroid71 - Sep 27, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Why on earth at his age, and with all those basketball miles on his legs would he be rushing back to a team that desperately needs him to play at the peak of his game in order to compete?

    I know he’s a competitor, but seriously. Can’t he see he is more valuable to his team, and franchise if he heals properly and moe fully so he can play longer.

    This is where the ego bit actually makes sense. He can’t get past his own interests in order to fully support the team and franchise that made him great.

    Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of Kobe, but I would never want him to go out like this. I’d prefer to see him recover sensibly and then continue to astound us for more years to come. a whole lot of “I told you so” statements in about 2 months time if he reinsures it. And that would be sad.

  8. sw69ca - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Kobe needs to be thinking about the end of the season, not the beginning.
    Think smart!

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 28, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      He needs to think about the start of next season, not any part of this one. This season is lost already.

  9. galdar30 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    To my sis Snow if your reading this LAKERS SUCK LOL.

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