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Monday, December 19th, 2011 at 1:00 pm  |  65 responses

Kobe Bryant: ‘My Knee Feels 90 Percent Better’


by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Many things went wrong for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, culminating in a humiliating sweep at the hands of the eventual NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. It’s hard to pinpoint precisely one thing that doomed the team, but a lot of blame can safely be placed on Kobe Bryant’s health. Or lack thereof.

Bryant used the extended offseason to get himself healthy, undergoing an innovative knee procedure in Germany, and he says that he’s never felt better physically.

In a wide-ranging Q&A with Yahoo! Sports, Kobe addresses a number of subjects surrounding Laker-land, including his health, new coach Mike Brown, trades and near-trades, and what he expects from the team in 2012:

Q: Do you see yourself retiring with the Lakers? There’s been speculation you might want a change. Bryant: “I don’t know where that comes from. I don’t have any feeling about [leaving] whatsoever.”

Q: So you definitely want to stay a Laker? Bryant: “Of course. No question. Why not? I’ve been here for 16 years. I’m going to up and leave now?” Q: Do you want to be one of those rare stars that played in only one place during a long NBA career? Bryant: “Oh yeah. That would be special. It’s rare to see that nowadays. It’s almost nearly impossible.”

Q: Can you talk about the surgical procedure you underwent on your right knee in Germany this summer and why you had it there? Bryant: “I’m not a big medicine, techie guy. But I know my knee feels 90 percent better. My understanding was that the guy who invented it … [Germany] is where he’s from and where his home base is. So I didn’t want to go someplace else where he had to move his equipment. If I am going to do it, I want to do it right and do it in the place where he is most comfortable doing it.” Q: What can you do physically with that knee that you couldn’t do at the end of last season? Bryant: “Anything I want. I can run. I can jump. I can run the track. I can lift weights the way I want to lift weights. I can practice every day. Those are things I couldn’t do last year.”

You should take time and read the entire thing.

Most people don’t consider the Lakers true title contenders going into this season — too old, disjointed, etc. — but Kobe Bryant’s belief in himself and the team (as presently constructed) seems unwaivering. That has to count for something, right?

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  • http://wikipedia.org Eddie

    His heart tho is 90% worse. illuminati. Peace be wit y’all this holiday season.

  • robb

    Mamba is ready to kill

  • Truth

    Kobe gets his 6th ring this season!

  • BlackStar

    I like how Kobe let’em know that they didn’t get a bunch of “sexy” named free agents, but they have a solid team. As long as you have people that work hard and understand their roles – like the Mavs – then you can make things happen. LA ALL DAY!

  • bike

    Ninety percent improvement of nothing is still zero.

  • marc

    and here comes the hate. who said a black man in the illuminati. Last time i checked that was the most racist party.

  • Sparty’s Law

    His bank account, however, is soon going to be about 50% worse.

  • kobesBESTfriend

    ask him again after the back 2 back 2 back games 2 start the season and we’ll know 4 sure

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lets see how he feels after 3 weeks of 4 games a week. — He said he was feeling pretty good going in to last season too.

  • lisa

    I have no doubt in my mind that Kobe is 100% healthy. Also to all the haters… Yall are pathetic. Can’t wait to see what the Lakers look like.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    There is no cure for father time. And realizing that is not hating.

  • BoWeezy24

    #Killuminati!

  • A-money

    “I’m not a big medicine, techie guy.” naah, Kobe, you’re more of a Scienticfic Dawg!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I expect Kobe to be back at 09-10 form. Father time always comes a knocking, but you don’t always have to answer right away. The key for Kobe going forward is realizing he isn’t what he use to be, and adjusting his game accordingly. He needs to be more of a spot shooter and a post up guard more so than the old Kobe that would go one on one from anywhere on the floor at any time. He has a Allstar forward with Gasol and a soon to be Allstar center in Bynum. He has some good defenders and shooters around him now and he needs to utilize them to the fullest this year.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    66 games, 120 days.

  • CubicleWorker

    Sparty’s law doing him dirty

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Blue, 42, hike.

  • http://wikipedia.org Eddie

    I just hope he don’t pull a Tiger Woods cuz of his broken heart. This was supposed to be his year. Can’t believe she doin this now right before the NBA season and Xmas. We had a lockout for god’s sake. She just steppin all over his heart and emotions. Women…can’t live wit em can’t dunk on em. BBALL all day.

  • golakeshow

    I agree 100 percent eddie. Woman can be a-holes, Kobe will be fine though

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Hopefully this is true and his health is able to not be a problem this year, if he stays healhy(and LA picks up a PG or Dwight Howard)then we’ll definitely be title contenders again.

  • riggs

    yeah screw his wife for getting cheated on by a douche that didnt even have enough respect to hide it. How dare her….jesus christ.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    He couldn’t run or jump last season? His 1639 field goal attempts beg to differ.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    JTaylor21 obsessing over Kobe. SMH

  • bike

    He should be OK once his divorce gets finalized and he comes to grips with his sexual identity.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    This is the focus I like to see in my NBA superstar… your move KING.

  • Mike from Spain

    there are some scary teams out there this year… Kobe must really go into supa killa mode to have the Lakers contending against the Mavs, Heat, Bulls, Knicks, Thunder, Celtics. Hell, even a play off round against the Clippers seems problematic. What do you think?

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    I have a good feeling about this season for my Lakers. Last season i didnt feel good about it when tha playoffs started n look wat happened. But this season, i feel good about. Kobe goin to work

  • BostonBaller

    I hope Kobe will be 100% when the season starts. He is going to be even better this season!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    If Kobe’s truly healthy he’ll probably put up 26.5/5/5

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Fuc$ing pus$ies…..”oh Kobe, play like you used to” “let me fantasize that you can really play like you do on 2K12″,”let me think to myself you can score 81 PTs a game even though it takes you three and a half games to do it now!”

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    lol

  • shutup

    Even if KObes truly healthy i only see him averaging around 23-24 ppg. His scoring has been on a steady decline for the past 5 years. Oh and since its not posted anywhere else on slam Dwight Howard scored 5 points in his first preseason game, the best center in the game, 5 points? really against a team with no center, 5 F-in points.

  • http://www.t-mac.com/tmac/index unf*ckwitable

    Your not aloud to be a fan of Kobe Bryant or it automatically means your a “slurper” who knows nothing about bball. Eboy GTFOH you fuking obsessed homo, the only time you comment on an article is when Kobe is mentioned, get off his dick.

  • http://www.t-mac.com/tmac/index unf*ckwitable

    Plus you say the same sh*t everytime, its just words homie, if the articles and comments about kobe piss you off that much dont read them.

  • DuckTape The Mob

    @Eboy…………Kobe must Have Ran thru Yo Mama or someone close to you because You stay hating On Him……….

    You Must Be white

  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametime

    Mamba is a consummate professional he’ll be ready to go and we’ll be seeing Kobe doing work as usual.

  • http://www.nbadraft.net showtime

    Double negative byum & allstar should never be in the same sentence thier lake

  • Riggs

    lol clippers looked way better than the lakers tonight

  • BBaller

    Do you self a favor and check out DeAndre Jordan’s soaring dunk on the Lakers. OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 12ising Phoenix

    Lakers juss got sorted like dirty laundry, oh my goodness.

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com/ O

    Let’s keep it 1000, it’s over for the Lakers. They ain’t going nowhere this season. They’ll beat up on the inferior teams, but teams like Clippers, Thunder, Mavs and maybe even the Hornets are gonna be crushing them on the regular. On another note, REALLY hurting that the Knicks gave up Billups. He was MURDERING it tonight…

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com/ O

    Keep in mind, Blake Griffin didn’t even get busy offensively…

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    Clippers looked way too athletic tonight…ridiculous. Kobe working like a dog to get his, took two huge spills in the lane…obviously the offense isn’t there yet, continuity definitely not there yet….basically this is team B (or C if we throw the Angels into the mix) in LA…..period. Hoping for the best but things aren’t looking great. They need to play Andrew Goudelock, was suprised he got no burn….when he does yall will see what I’ve been raving about.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    @O cause Pau locked ‘eem down…

  • 12ising Phoenix

    Def. Lakers are finished, there bench is way too thin, artest played like an old man.. ebanks played well but its evident the lakers are free-falling in the west. As for the clips , Ohhhh man. That’s all I gotta say. I actually forgot how good cp3 was, but was reminded tonight. Deandre postered pau and bynum.. that was sick. Caron looked good, Blake was Blake , but not really Blake Blake tonight..didn’t need to be. Ummm. I actually like the clippers bench mo and foye are a really good 1 2 punch… Brian cook didn’t miss and that kid thompkins was impressive. Clippers are def on the rise. & chauncy did his thing, if he can D Kobe at the 2 , than I think a backcourt of Paul n billups would be effective… Sorry for rambling , just wanted to share my thoughts :)

  • Justin G.

    Wow Eboy, I’m almost starting to get embarassed for you now the way you go off for basically no reason anytime Kobe is mentioned. @JTaylor, not sure what his FGA’s have to do with his abiltity to take shots? His arm and shoulder were still pretty good. And I’m liking how everyone is putting the Lakers out to pasture after one exhibition game. I’m not a Lakers fanatic by any means but please. It’s preseason. SMH indeed

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    Come on people, everyone knows Mike Brown doesnt take pre season serious. He uses it as a time to evaluate and try out things, not a serious game. Lakers gonna be good this season

  • http://skjflf.com Jukai

    The Clippers will still have bench problems… I think they need to trade a few pieces and solidify themselves. I don’t trust Brian Grant to be hot every night, and Mo Williams/Randy Foye is redundant… but oh my god, their starting lineup is perfect. PERFECT.
    Fingers crossed on the injury bug that could topple this lineup, but Paul/Billups/Butler/Griffin/Jordan is an outstanding starting five. They worked exactly like you’d think… Paul and Billups looked wayyyy too comfortable with each other, and they looked comfortable doing their things (Paul would control the ball and Billups would look to spot up. If Billups got the ball, he still worked it around perfectly like good old Billups). Caron worked great both spotting up and getting his own shots. With those three spreading the floor and the passing so good, both Griffin and Jordan had it easy.
    I know it’s the preseason and one shouldn’t look too much into the Lakers loss— they had to work more on the newcomers on the bench while the Clips had to work more on the newcomers in the starting 5— the Clippers look like the most improved team, easy.

  • http://skjflf.com Jukai

    Also, Troy Murphy looks more like an unemployed alcoholic than a basketball player. Me and my brother kept cracking jokes about how he looked like he had gone on a two day liquor binge… and woke up in the locker room and some Lakers players were just like “rook, put on your uniform, we gotta play soon.” His face just screamed “oh jesus, I don’t know what I’m doing and my hangover is killing me. Just pretend you do this and when it’s over, get the hell out of here.”

  • BBaller

    It may of been pre-season( however both L.A teams were serious) but i still cannot get over D.Jordan’s dunk over both Gasol and Bynum. The Lakers need a wake up call, to be dominated like that( fair enough if Pau or kobe didn’t play)should send shockwaves down the front office. A new team can rip them apart, how well are they going to do against established teams like S.A, OKC and Portland?

  • EJ

    I don’t see why Kobe couldn’t score even 27 PPG this year. I mean if he’s healthier than last year, when he averaged 25.3 PPG on only 33.9 minutes, I don’t know why 27 would be out of reach. But I don’t think people should really be considered on how much Kobe will score, it’s still a championship team.

  • shutup

    Well look at his steady ppg dropoff starting in 05-06 with 35.4 ppg and last year he only avg 25.3 i think its more reasonable to acknowledge the decline in his scoring output is dropping by like 1.5-2 ppg so an avg of 22-24 is more likely than him increasing his ppg average

  • Chris

    kobe’s scoring dropped last year because of limited minutes, his PER was actually better than in 09-10. What was worrying last year was his inability to turn it on in the Playoffs, and his lack of production in crunch time. If that can be put on his knee problem or if it’s more of a general decline remains to be seen. With this Lakers squad though, and increased minutes, look for Kobe’s scoring to increase.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    I don’t know about Kobe’s knee, but the Clippers look damn good in their first game together, as they whooped the Lakers last night. That chubby little point guard wearing #3 is pretty good. lol

  • shutup

    09-10 he avg 27.0 last year was 25.3 thats a drop of nearly 2 points, and if his scoring does rise it will most likely be to the detriment of his team. This team is going to win much with him avg more than 27-28ppg if he can even do that now, after watching the clippers game cant say I was impressed by his explosiveness, granted it was only preseason but he looks slower, and on a side note Billups looked great, he looks healthy and the Knicks are gonna look real dumb when and if Chandler gets hurt this year, granted he’s not as fragile as Oden or Bynum but the up and down pace might take a toll on him, especially if Stat and Melo launch shots early in the shot clock.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    He played 29 minutes and had 7 turnovers last night. Kobe didn’t look like himself at all…. but it was only a pre-season game I guess.

  • riggs

    mo williams need to get traded

  • 12ising Phoenix

    Nahh I like mo taking on that 6th man role.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    well he’s gonna get traded

  • 12ising Phoenix

    :l

  • doyouwantmore

    LOL Kobe’s done. Any other year he would have said he’s feeling 100%. Say hello to the spot-up-shooter era of Kobe’s career. I bet he’s going to date some fine women though.

  • DieselMechanic

    Kobe effectiveness hasn’t dimished at all. I would argue that Kobe is still the most dominant player when you look at his minutes going down and still hanging around the top of the scoring charts. But the Odom thing is a really bad look to start the year on. And Pau is still sore about almost being traded.

  • shutup

    Kobe the most dominant player? that doesnt even sound right, i have a list of three things that i know will stop Kobe from being “dominant”
    1) old legs 90-100% he still not as explosive to the rim
    2) with the lack of explosiveness will come less drives to the rim, more Kobe jumshots, more jumpshots, less freethrows
    3) they have took away the rip through move so his free throw attempts are going to be down even more.
    Not all great players handle the decrease in their game well, MJ was good because he adapted, another one was Larry Johnson, I can see this season turning in to work for Kobe instead of just basketball especially if they start losing, and with all the personal ish going on in his life this is gonna be one helluva year, oh and its gotta suck to see the other LA team get more press now.

  • JL

    190% of 50% is 95% now. Most important is how the knee will be in the playoffs and through the season. Bynum’s knee is 100%. Which is pretty impressive. Let’s hope it’s true.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    If you can’t see Kobe has lost a step, or three, then you haven’t been watching Kobe for very long, if at all.

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