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James Harden on Kobe Bryant return: “He’s 20-year-old Kobe”

Aug 30, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

It’s one of the interesting questions heading into the 2014-15 NBA season — what Kobe Bryant are we going to see?

James Harden said he knows Kobe has been putting in the work… but we all knew Kobe would put in the work. That was never the question, it is how his body will respond. Harden thinks well.

“We talk and he’s ready. He’s 20-year-old Kobe. It’s going to be a crazy environment.”

Kobe has said that he’s had to adjust his game, that he doesn’t move the same way and his explosivness will not be the same, but that can be made up for with smart play. That’s the goal — efficiency. Bryant can do that.

He’s not going to be 20-year-old Kobe bouncing out of the gym, but if he’s close to 2012 pre-injury Kobe the Lakers would take it.

Hat tip to Lakers Nation.

  1. peddealer - Aug 30, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    Michael Sam is so happy, he grabs his teammates dirty underwear with both fists and sniffs em clean!

    • money2long - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      Wait..what ?

  2. ranoversquarells - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    Boo Israel

  3. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Irrelevant comment #3

    • kindasporty - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      This is the most relevant comment so far.

  4. money2long - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    There are literally so many story lines this year within the nba to keep an eye out for. The nba gets better every year.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 30, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Ain’t that the truth!

  5. therealhtj - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Big John Football must be sleeping in.

  6. grantgoodman93 - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    No he is not. Lets be f***ing real. He has maybe 2 good years left and will not be ’20 year old Kobe.’ Even if he is, a 20 year old Kobe couldn’t save that roster right now. People talk like Kobe can be ‘the one’ to outlast father time. Good try.

    • therealhtj - Aug 30, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      It took a 27 year old prime Kobe with a still engaged Phil Jackson to take a better squad to the playoffs and almost upset the loaded Suns. This bunch has no shot.

    • blackman24 - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      It takes an idiot like yourself to read deeper into what Harden said. Read the article again, he clearly says we will see a 20 year-old Kobe in the 1st game against Houston, which is not far fetched seeing the guy has had a whole year off from basketball. No one has said anything about him outlasting father time.

  7. canucks30 - Aug 30, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    So I guess this means he’s bringing back the mini-fro hairstyle?

  8. billtetley53 - Aug 30, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Im pretty sure Harden meant maturity wise.

    With all this anti kobe banter, we should all get our kleenex and hankerchiefs out. Musician should be along anytime to cry his eyes out.

  9. elcapitanfiscal - Aug 30, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Lakers suck

    • ogexpress - Sep 1, 2014 at 2:23 AM

      You suck!!!! Count the championship banners idiot…

  10. savvybynature - Aug 30, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Lakers fans better hope not.
    20-year-old Kobe shot under 43% in the playoffs and his team got swept by the Spurs even though they had Shaq (and Robert Horry, Derek Fisher, Derek Harper, Rick Fox, JR Reid, Glen Rice, Dennis Rodman — was a pretty solid team).

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      The way Harden plays defense, Kobe won’t have to play like the 20 year old version of himself to be effective.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      Also, that Spurs team they lost to went on to win the NBA title… with David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Sean Elliot, Avery Johnson, Mario Elie, Steve Kerr…

  11. hurley711 - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    So he can’t move like he used to but will make up for it with smart play? Sounds like another 1st team all NBA defense selection is coming

  12. blackman24 - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Well, Kobe has had a year off to rest his body and heal his injuries. He should be spry the 1st few months and hit a small wall mid season, but i’m expecting a very good season from him regardless of how bad the Lakers will be. Along the lines of 23/6/6 and 48% is realistic.

    • 88heatnation - Aug 30, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      Kobe highest field goal percentage to date is 47%, which was also the lowest field goal attempts that year, due to poor shot selections which will increase and due to the look of the current roster and Kobe’s aggressive style of play it will result in PLENTY of bad contested shots in attempt to win games.

      • bkbell3 - Aug 31, 2014 at 2:50 AM

        Harden is a good offensive player but he is a career 44% shooter from the field and 36% from the three according to this web site in rotoworld so let’s not act like harden is some great sharp shooter. And he is a ghost on defense, just watch him for a while in a game on defense. Not only is he bad but he looks disinterested on the ball and away from the ball.

  13. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    PBT writers are straight trolling us with all these Kobe posts.

    Kobe texts Lebron
    Kobe has high pain tolerance
    Kobe studying Paul Pierce
    Kobe coming back as a 20 year old
    Kobe says DWill lost confidence
    Kobe has zero trade value
    Kobe is underpaid

    Seventeen Kobe related posts since Aug 18th. Crazy for a washed up dude who won’t sniff the playoffs for the rest of his very short career.

    • retxedfred - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      And you’re trolling their trolling!

      • blackman24 - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        Got em!

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      wow, and you took the time to search out all those articles! Crazy for a washed up dude who won’t sniff the playoffs for the rest of his very short career.

      • unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Aug 30, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        Amen- Kobe lover- it took almost 90 seconds.

    • topdawg4ever - Aug 30, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      You are so right. Apparently Kobe “articles” get lots of clicks so it’s a no-brainer for PBT writers to invent new “articles” almost every day.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 30, 2014 at 10:02 PM

      So unfrozencavemanlawyer1 was taken? Just curious.

  14. 00maltliquor - Aug 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    That title was baiting and misleading.

  15. money2long - Aug 30, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Lol I’m happy I’m above the trolling.
    It literally has no affect on what will transpire.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 30, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      What’s wrong with a bit of trolling ever now and then? Lol

      • jimeejohnson - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        Exactly: KNICKS SUCK!

  16. erking1991 - Aug 30, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    The best player in the NBA James Harden must have taught Kobe a lil something.

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