Skip to content

D’Antoni on Kobe playing opening night: “No. I don’t think so.”

Oct 15, 2013, 12:07 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers' Bryant gestures to his teammates before their game against the Golden State Warriors at the NBA Global Games in Beijing Reuters

It always seemed pretty much impossible that Kobe Bryant would be back from his ruptured Achilles tendon in April in time for the NBA’s opening night. But because he’s Kobe Bryant we all looked at it differently — this guy played with a broken finger on his shooting hand and just adjusted his shot to make it work. He’s the Black Knight from Monty Python (‘Tis a flesh wound) and you just couldn’t write him off.

Now, it seems Mike D’Antoni is writing him off from opening night. Almost.

At his postgame press conference in Beijing after the Lakers fell to Golden State Tuesday morning, D’Antoni was asked about the chances of Kobe playing opening night Oct. 29 against the Clippers and he was honest in his response (via Zach Harper at Eye on Basketball).

“No. I don’t think so. We’ll see. I think it’s an ongoing process but that would be tough.”

That first reaction — “no” — is what Mike D’Antoni really thinks. That second comment about “process” and it “would be tough” is D’Antoni remembering Kobe is the guy with the power in their relationship and he wants that door open.

Kobe has yet to practice with the team. He is running — he ran around the arena in Beijing while his teammates practiced — but that is very different from sharp stops, cutting and all that comes with playing in a basketball game.

Like a hamstring, an Achilles needs to be fully healed and not pushed too much after an injury because it is prone to setbacks. It is not a situation where it is as simple as “if Kobe just works harder and ignores the pain he’ll be fine.” If it were a matter of will he’d be back.

The Lakers need him back but more importantly the Lakers need him back right — any hopes of a playoff spot in the West hinge on him not only returning early in the season but also being pretty close to his old self. This Lakers team is not one with a lot of margin for error. They can wait a few weeks to get him right.

Latest Posts
  1. PBT Extra matchups to watch: Spurs look for ways to contain Chris Paul

    Apr 21, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT

    Expect to see a lot more Kawhi Leonard (and Danny Green) on Paul from the start.

  2. Report: Suns’ Morris twins charged with aggravated assault

    Apr 21, 2015, 4:51 PM EDT

    Phoenix Suns Media Day Getty Images

    The twins were allegedly part of a group that beat up a man outside a rec league basketball tournament.

  3. Hawks’ Al Horford says he will play in Game 2 despite finger injury

    Apr 21, 2015, 4:14 PM EDT

    Al Horford AP

    Horford is going to have work to do on the defensive end slowing down Brook Lopez.

  4. Brilliant spoof: Zach Randolph’s deep thoughts on cats, shirts, more

    Apr 21, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    Zach Randolph AP

    Well done, Zach Randolph and the Memphis Grizzlies.

  5. Nets list Mirza Teletovic as ‘probable’ for Game 2 vs. Hawks

    Apr 21, 2015, 2:43 PM EDT

    Brooklyn Nets v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

    Teletovic was originally ruled out for the season on Jan. 23.

  6. Report: Spurs might get a free agent meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge

    Apr 21, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

    Another report has Aldridge at no better than 50-50 to re-sign with the Blazers.

  7. Raptors’ Lou Williams: ‘Staying in Toronto would be ideal for me’

    Apr 21, 2015, 11:10 AM EDT

    Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Hornets Getty Images

    Williams will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

  8. PBT Extra matchup to watch: Can Toronto keep Paul Pierce quiet on the court?

    Apr 21, 2015, 12:14 AM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptrkyze4nmfkytlhmjnjodc4mjk4mgq0nzixowuwndg2 AP

    Pierce’s comments made him unpopular north of the border, but his play should bother the Raptors more.

Featured video

Mavericks need to contain Dwight Howard in Game 2
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (5775)
  2. C. Parsons (5690)
  3. K. Durant (5340)
  4. P. George (5275)
  5. T. Splitter (4936)
  1. M. Conley (4894)
  2. L. James (4750)
  3. D. Lee (4699)
  4. K. Bryant (4583)
  5. S. Curry (4498)