Friday, July 19th, 2013 at 9:00 am  |  42 responses

Jim Buss Bets Kobe Bryant Returns in Preseason

by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

Los Angeles Lakers VP of player personnel Jim Buss is very confident that Kobe Bryant will soon be back on the basketball court.

The Black Mamba has said that he’s well ahead of schedule as he recovers from a devastating Achilles injury, and the Lakers’ front-office would bet on him being ready to go before the season even kicks off.

Per the LA Daily News:

The Lakers vice president of player personnel revealed to NBA TV on Thursday that Kobe Bryant appears so far ahead of schedule in returning from a torn left Achilles tendon that he couldn’t help but pour all his chips into one scenario.

“I would bet a lot of money that this guy comes back probably in the preseason,” Buss said during the broadcast of the Lakers’ Las Vegas Summer League game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Thomas & Mack Center. “He’s real sharp in taking care of himself. He’s not going to rush anything just to get back to prove a point. He’s going to come back when he is right. He’s a machine and is inhuman that way. I see him coming back at the beginning of this season. I can’t believe how much he progressed so far.”

When Kobe went down in mid-April, the timetable given for his return was six-to-nine months, though many suspected it would take the veteran superstar guard longer to suit up again.

As he continues to entertain fans on social media, the Los Angeles Lakers are wagering that Kobe Bryant will again be in uniform soon.

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  • i_ball

    If he does I will seriously doubt that Kobe is made of human cells

  • huami

    He will come back. But he will be rusty and will take a lot of jumpers. Mid-season is where he will slowly be the black mamba again;

  • Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    Any Naruto fans here? I swear this guy is going Senju on us

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Was anyone surprised by this? I’m one of the biggest Laker fans on this site but I gotta say this narrative everytime Kobe get’s hurt/sick is a tad tiresome. We all know dude is tough as the come so him being ahead of schedule is not that surprising to me.

  • bike

    To reduce inflammation during his recovery, Kobe often injects cod liver oil directly into his temple with a syringe.

    Because he is Kobe Motherfu*kin Bryant.

  • spit hot fiyah

    would it be some sort of record if he makes it back for the pre-season? anyone know?

  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange isn’t sure if Horry Jr will make it back by pre-season, but without “exceptionally more talent than the rest of the L” he’ll definitely be b1tching and moaning by mid-season.

  • Jay Brodes

    i like the idea he is ahead of schedule but kinda nervous as i do not want him over doing this in preseason. we got into this mess cause he was logging 48 min last year..thnks mike!

  • spit hot fiyah

    thanks for not answering the question

  • shockexchange

    Whether he breaks a record by coming back early is an irrelevant stat anyway, but the Shock Exchange does hope he has a successful recovery.

  • Caboose

    Does he ever?

  • Caboose

    Remember that Family Guy joke where Kobe spins the ball and the cops are distracted? I just pictured him doing that, the cops staring at the ball, and he injecting some steroid cocktail right into his head.

  • Feez_22

    NBA wise it might be a record. Football wise i think terell suggs came back in 7 months or something.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i hope the reputation about how tough he is doesn’t get into his own head, coming back too early from this injury could have lifelong consequences.

  • playa

    He always takes a lot of jumpers, in fact him shooting jumpers > half of players going strictly to the hole, he’s that good of jump shot.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Well he is his own worst enemy so I hope that’s not the case.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i had a buddy who came back from this a month early. it snapped that day, and he said his tendons are so tight they always feel like they need to pop.
    could you imagine having the sensation that your ankle needs to pop throughout most of everyday?

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    I couldn’t lol I had several bone spurs and a slighty damaged tendon from the academy. It wasn’t as drastic but I was very cautious during rehab and took my time.

  • robb

    Idiots usually make bad bets

  • robb

    not that surprising and definitely not that smart either

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray


  • Junior Taylor

    The same way he bet that Howard would stay in LA and that picking Antoni over PJax was the correct decision?

  • DropdaHate

    ShockExchange = commenter of the year for real.

    Really tho…how is LeBron not better than Kobe all time and WHY is Kobe credited with 5 rings…if LeBron got 5 rings Kobe had in the same way people would be saying… “Bron had shaq so he only has two rings…out of those 3 1-2 of them go away because of Donaghy scandal…and LeBron was bailed out in game 7 of the Celtics series…so LeBron has 1 ring only”…but since its Kobe… Kobe has 5 rings and he carried his teams each and every year even when in the shaq days, the teams did signficantly WORSE with Kobe and without Shaq and did better with just Shaq and no Kobe, Shaq straight up dominated teams and teams set their whole defensive scheme around shaq, Robert Horry exists, Tim Donaghy exists, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol (who at the time was arguably the best PF in the game exist), stats exists…

    But unfortunately, double standards exist

  • shockexchange

    Cool. Also, I’ll have my book, “Shock Exchange”, on display at the Harlem Book Fair tomorrow (7/20) from 10am – 6pm ( http://clicky.me/7gSX ). For those in the area, come holla at your boy.

  • huami

    Good point. But what I meant was, he will not be going to the hoop as much early in the season. Except maybe for breakaways

  • Conor

    Your name is Ralph? HaHaHaHaHa

    Nice typo in the introductory sentence, but otherwise…

    Congratulations, sir!

  • shockexchange

    What typo? As the theme from “Jeopardy” plays ad infinitum …

  • http://triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Did anyone see the new Xbox One package with the Bryant limited edition controller? Its gold and purple. Features include no pass button and 4 shoot buttons….

  • Christianbullen

    You can turn off the “Jeopardy” theme music, in your first sentence of your linked page it says “author of critically the acclaimed” when it should say “author of the critically acclaimed.” Smack Alex Trebec in the face for me bud.

  • Mike Gilbert


  • Mike Gilbert


  • shockexchange

    You and Conor have just outshocked the Shock Exchange! *Welp*

  • Jer dawg

    Jim Buss should stfu with his reckless predictions. His head drops out from his mouth when he speaks. What does he know? Kobe walks and shoots jumpers. Great! Most people with sprained ankles do America things.

  • Guest3

    I will never understand where this tough guy label comes from with Kobe. His game has never been highly conducive to injuries. He mainly plays in the post and acts as a spot-up shooter using the pivot to create space. When he does drive to the rack he normally doesn`t throw his body into defenders in a reckless manner.

    He has rarely sustained multiple severe injuries that he has had to manage simultaneously (if ever). Injuries that he sustains are normal injuries that occur during a season and career; injuries that most players/athletes play through until the season is over. But for some reason, his injuries are given great media attention at times even exacerbated as if there is something extraordinary about an athlete playing through pain or playing sick when players do this on a yearly basis. Take this story for example, what is so extraordinary about an athlete being ahead of their rehabilitation/recovery schedule? Players return early from injuries all the time. Anyway, I wish Kobe well and hope he has a full recovery.

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com/ Off The Backboard

    I do think his injuries are sensationalized sometimes (e.g., “Masked Mamba”), but numerous NBA guys – training staff from LA, players, even Phil Jackson – have said that Kobe has an abnormal threshold for pain.

    I think the two examples where that was obvious to me was him playing with a torn ligament in his wrist in (I believe) the start of the 2011-2012 season, and playing through a mangled pinky on his shooting hand throughout the entire 2009 season. Other players have done similar things, for sure, but Kobe’s stature within the game plus his longevity in doing these things are why the media pushes such stories.

    Him shooting free throws and making them with a torn Achilles was pretty bad*ss too.

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com/ Off The Backboard

    Hope he doesn’t do that. I’d rather have him fully healed and cautious than rush back to prove something.

  • Guest3

    Yes. Kobe can play through pain. My point is that there is nothing abnormal about a player or an athlete playing through moderate injuries. Moderate injuries which usually require an athlete to make minor adjustments to their game in order to prevent any further damage to the injury or to avoid the constant pain.

    I see injured athletes make adjustments all the time due to injuries that they decide to play through. For instance, I have seen golfers adjust their swings, QBs adjust their throwing motions, DBs (defensive backs) change the way they tackle, baseball players adjust their swings, tennis players adjust their serving motions, and basketball players adjust their shots all due to injuries. It is not abnormal. In fact, it is very common in sports and most of these injuries don`t make the headlines. Nor do they become the focal point of a team or an off season.

    Kobe just finished his 17th season in the league and out of 17 seasons he`s only averaged 40 minutes a game in 5 of them. Two of which were during the era where Shaquille O`neal was the dominant force behind the Lakers` offense and defense. The last season he played 40 minutes was back in 2006-07. So while I commend his longevity, there have been a few factors that have gone his way that improved his chances of having a long career. Most of the teams he has played on have not been “solely” dependent on him offensively, he has not had any major injuries, and his game which primarily features perimeter shooting has also been conducive to a 10+ year career.

    By major injuries I mean those that generally require 12 months to rehab and recover from such as torn ACL or MCL, broken arms, broken legs, etc. The types of injuries that will linger on through an athlete`s career because it diminished their athleticism, speed, or some other key asset that the athlete possessed prior to the injury.

    Again I agree that Kobe can play through pain. However, I would not put him high on the list of “The Toughest Athletes Ever” if at all. Athletes are expected to play through injuries that are not seen as severe. And they are expected to rehab and recover from injuries by putting in the necessary work which I am sure Kobe is doing in order to get back on the court.

  • Interdico Scriptor

    wanna bet??

  • roscoe

    no doubt.

    i believe we will see the acceptance of PEDs for recovery in our lifetime.

  • http://triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Of course it is….it has no relevance to the topic and is completely inappropriate considering how successful kobe bean vino mamba bryant is….. but when has that stopped anyone else on the slams??? 0_o

  • Max

    Last time I heard this joke Pluto was still a planet.

  • SpittinRealStuffMayne