Bryant tells ESPN that his knee is slowly rounding into form, and feeling better than it did during the NBA Finals this past June: “The Lakers traveled halfway across the world to officially open their three-peat bid with a haphazard 111-92 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Los Angeles’ first exhibition game of the season, and suddenly it seems Kobe Bryant’s surgically repaired right knee might be a world away from being fully healed. ‘I’m probably about 60 percent,’ Bryant said … After the Lakers beat the Celtics to capture the championship in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, Bryant claimed that removing the excess fluid in the knee improved his health for the rest of the postseason. ‘I drained my knee, and all of a sudden reeling off 30-point games like they’re 10-point games and everybody said how young I looked,’ Bryant said. ‘I was hurt.’ After Monday’s loss, Bryant revealed just how hurt he was, even after having the knee drained. ‘During the NBA Finals, it was extremely, extremely, extremely painful,’ Bryant said. ‘Now, not so much.’”