Saturday, December 7th, 2013 at 6:18 pm  |  8 responses

Mike D’Antoni: Kobe Bryant Will Be a ‘Dominant Player’ Again

It’s safe to assume Kobe Bryant will not produce (m)any gravity-defying feats during his season debut on Sunday. Eight months of rehab and 35-year-old legs will slow you down a bit. But Mike D’Antoni believes that once he gets his “sea legs” under him, Mamba will once again be a “dominant player” this season. Per ESPN L.A.:

D’Antoni was confident that the long layoff would not affect Bryant’s impact on the game.

“He’ll be a dominant player,” D’Antoni said. “He can play any way. He can play below the rim, above the rim, beside the rim. I mean, the guy can play any way. He’ll figure out how he’ll be effective and then he’ll come at you with everything he’s got. That’s been his M.O., and I think that’s what he’ll do.”

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  • monkeyball

    I have lots of issues with Kobe as a player and as a person. But you can’t but be amazed at his competitive spirit. He could have waited two more months and everyone would still have been shocked that he came back so early. He just wants to play so baaaad. It may finish his career, ironically enough. But, damn, does Kobe give a sh#t.

  • Fitzy

    Kobe just has his eye on that number 3 spot right now.

  • thebossman15

    more like number 1 spot

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Yes and Lakers will lose out if Bryant assumes scoring role. Hopefully Bryant accepts the role as PG and runs the offense. He has scorers on his team, but he needs to use his IQ to run playmaking

  • JML-G

    even more like number 8 spot in western conf at best

  • Fitzy

    he doesn’t care about winning. Proved it when he signed that contract. He has MJ in his sights and that’s what he wants.

  • Yesse

    It wasn’t the Kobe i got used to seeing last night, but coming back injured explains it.

    He is not effective right now, but will be interesting how he will be after a few months. I know his mentality can make him work back in shape, if it’s physically possible to get back where he was.

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

    That was the first time I’ve ever seen Kobe look lost since Game 7 of the 2010 Finals.
    He looked really out of shape and out of sync…I expected some rust, but not to that level. He moved at the pace of a snail out there.

    I expect him to be Mamba in about 2-3 weeks or so. His confidence in his body was getting back to normal as the game progressed (he hit a nice jab jumper), but WTF was up with all the over passing to Pau Gasol??