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Kobe Bryant says he could play now if this were the playoffs

Oct 14, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant AP

There’s still no timetable for his return, but for Kobe Bryant fans — and for the Lakers playoff hopes — Monday in China was a good day.

Kobe said he was very close to practicing on the court with the team.

After suggesting he would practice, Kobe ran around the concourse of the arena in China Monday where the rest of the Lakers did practice in preparation for a preseason game. Kobe did say that if this were the playoffs he could be out there, speaking with Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report.

“if today was a playoff or NBA Finals [game], could I play? Probably….

“I haven’t had any pain or any soreness whatsoever. It’s kind of a flexibility thing, and getting the range of motion back—feel like you can bend without having to lift the heel up. After months of the tendon being compressed, now you have to work to stretch it out a little bit.”

Just a reminder that this is Kobe Bryant and you’re human laws of recovery or physics do not apply to him.

Will he really be ready to go in 15 days for the Lakers opener against the Clippers? Who knows? It feels like a “no,” that is too soon, but again your laws of recovery do not apply to Kobe.

There is no doubt the Lakers need him. Frankly, they need vintage Kobe to make the playoffs in a deep Western Conference.

  1. freddysanford - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    My prediction is that his career is over. I think he will come back and play amazing for a short period of time but then injure something else. He’s got three or four issues he’s nursing and I just don’t think he can endure another full season of brutality on his battered legs. Sad but everyone succumbs to the old man sooner or later.

    • vi3tguy415 - Oct 14, 2013 at 12:03 PM


    • psung26 - Oct 14, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      #1 If he could come back for a short period of time as you predict, then his career isn’t yet over
      #2 He doesn’t have three to four issues that he is nursing, he has one: his achilles. And even if he did, they’re not known to you or to anyone else
      #3 His legs aren’t battered. Again, his achilles was. (note past tense)
      #4 It’s everyone succumbs to father time, not “succumbs to the old man”
      #5 Finally, I sincerely doubt you are even remotely sad about Kobe’s injury at all

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 14, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      For someone who claims to be a sports medicine professional, you take an interestingly bearish view on injuries. Glad I never played for one of your teams.

      “Hey doc, I got elbowed in the stomach and got the wind knocked out of me.”

      “Tough break kid, hate to tell ya but your career is over. Every thought about going back to school?”

    • jimeejohnson - Oct 14, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      No surprise Freddy Sanford would use the “old Man” argument. Just kidding. Yeah right.

  2. topdawg4ever - Oct 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Kobe’s back-tracking already. he won’t step on the court until at least December.

  3. antistratfordian - Oct 14, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    “I haven’t had any pain or any soreness whatsoever.”

    Wait until he plays a game or three. There will be soreness.

    • Anoesis - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      Yes, much like your fingers after trolling Laker posts. If you can recover, then someone way out of your league like Bryant should be just fine.

  4. lakerade - Oct 14, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Kobe, always working. Saying he could play if the stakes were higher certainly hints at his readiness, but more likely is just Kobe refusing to give up hope on the team goal he sets every year. While I personally think he comes back a few games before Christmas Day, he wants his teammates and everyone to know that this is not a throwaway season right out of the gates. He’s more dependent on the performance of his teammates than ever now, so even if it’s just talk and he’s nowhere close to coming back, that is the right thing for him to say.

    • jimeejohnson - Oct 14, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      One day Kobe will be hanging on the beach, pina colada in one hand and some hot babe in the other. And he will have earned it.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:21 AM

      “Saying he could play if the stakes were higher certainly hints at his readiness…”

      It hints more at something else… something less flattering.

  5. Anoesis - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    The clinging hope I see in the anti-Bryant posts that he’s finished is pathetic.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:21 AM

      Why would anyone need hope? He’s been finished for years now.

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