There were three pieces of good news for the Los Angeles Lakers last night: they won easily against the Golden State Warriors, held on to the third seed in the Western Conference, and perhaps most importantly, found out that Kobe Bryant is ready to resume playing basketball again.
Bryant, who went through a pain-free workout prior to the contest, announced his intention to return to action during an in-game interview, and elaborated on the matter during a postgame pow-wow with reporters. Kobe claimed that he felt so good in his left shin that he could play 48 minutes tomorrow night, if need be.
From the LA Daily News:
Kobe Bryant shot baskets Wednesday afternoon, running and jumping without pain about three hours before the Lakers faced the Golden State Warriors. Then he sat out for the seventh and final game because of an injured left shin. The Lakers will wait to see how he responds from his toughest workout since he was sidelined by tenosynovitis April 7. However, Bryant said with a degree of certainty that he would be ready to play Friday against the San Antonio Spurs.
“Why not?” he said after the Lakers’ victory over the Warriors. “I’m good.” Bryant said sitting out wasn’t fun. “It’s been good to see how much guys have progressed, doing things they would ordinarily not try to do,” he said. “When I’m not out there, you have to do other things. You have to experiment with your game. They had a great deal of success with it.”
It will be interesting to see how Bryant’s teammates — who played very well in his absence, going 5-2 during the stretch — adjust to the return of such a dominant, all-consuming force on the court, as the team gears up for the postseason.
As the Lakers travel to San Antonio tomorrow night, Kobe Bryant won’t be the only focal point. One should keep an eye on Andrew Bynum, as he was very upset after the Spurs paid LA back with a humiliating beatdown on Tuesday night.