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Monday, February 10th, 2014 at 11:00 am  |  57 responses

Kobe Bryant Still Plans to Return This Season

Despite what is obviously a lost cause, Kobe Bryant plans to re-join the Lakers on the court this season. Only the Black Mamba knows why he’d want to put himself through such a torturous ordeal. Per the LA Daily News:

“My plan hasn’t changed,” Bryant said Sunday at an event to promote his new sneaker, the Nike Kobe 9 Elite Masterpiece. “I’ve been going about it every single day and trying to be better. That’s my job. My job is to get my butt out there on the court to play.”

Bryant hasn’t progressed his rehab beyond stationary bike work. The Lakers also don’t plan to reevaluate him until after All-Star weekend. But considering he still needs to advance his workout and practice regiment, Bryant sounded unsure when he’ll step on the court.

“That I don’t know,” Bryant said. “It’s completely out of my control. I really got to sit here and just wait until this thing heals up and then go out there and do what I do.”

Bryant sounded in high spirits talking about his latest Nike product, but that hardly matched his internal frustrations staying on the sideline. He didn’t travel with the Lakers on their three-game trip last week, which included a stop in his hometown (Philadelphia). He described that stretch as “horrible.”

“That Cleveland game, it was crazy,” Bryant said, referring to the Lakers’ win against the Cavaliers that entailed only a five-man rotation. “Then [Chris] Kaman goes to sleep on the bench. It’s like when big brother is not around, he starts doing crazy [stuff]. It’s been rough.”

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  • JJ Jones

    Of course he will that’s the way hes built. As soon as hes fully he shape again I expect him to still produce about 25-26 ppg off of his fundamentals. Just not with the same “explosion” as before ala his 2010-2011 season

  • Karl

    Sure he might get 25-26 ppg off fundamentals (I like to call them contested jump shots), but it’ll probably take him 20-25 shots to get there. If he ever averages 25-26 ppg at any time during the rest of his career, his teams won’t be winning a ring during this time.

  • JJ Jones

    I dont see why they wouldn’t he has five of them after all.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    because he’s 35 coming off a torn achilles. if you know anything about sports at all, you know that Kobe’s time as an elite NBA player that can be the catalyst to wins is over.

  • Anthony

    The man loves what he does for a living, can’t fault him for that. But I gotta watch this play out. The Lake Show has invested serious dough in The Mamba and to just let him play b/c he wants to play may not be in the best interest of the franchise especially if rest is the order of the day to really heal his injuries. Gotta ask yourself do you want half a Kobe now or a whole Kobe later?

  • shockexchange

    This is exactly what people were saying after he got injured the first time. He came back in record time from his achilles injury and got hurt again. The Shock Exchange thinks it’s best that Horry Jr continue to rehab so that he can come back healthy for next season.

  • Lloyd

    Bill Russell has 11 rings. They should sign him so he could help them win a couple more.

  • JJ Jones

    He looked pretty good in his last game against tony allen before he re-injured his knee thought.His game isn’t athleticism dependent anyway so I think he can still be an elite offensive player (defensively is where the injury will effect him)

  • JJ Jones

    Bill russel can’t play anymore that wasnt my point.

  • JJ Jones

    Whole kobe next year.

  • Lloyd

    I was being hyperbolic. Your belief that Kobe being a 5x champion translates to being able to contribute to more for the Lakers is invalid.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, he can still score 20+ points occasionally. sh*t, maybe he could even average 20……but doing it in a manner that can lead a team into title contention? those days are long gone. he’s a complimentary player if he wants to win a title from here on out.

  • JJ Jones

    No but the level he was starting to get back to before he had that knee injury is why I believe that can possibly win other title as the number option (offensively)even if its slim

  • JJ Jones

    I think its too soon to say that I mean he only played six games this year that’s not even a “preseason” and sass admittedly out of shape. I would give it until next year to declare whether or not hes still a superstar player offensively.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    he’s a human being JJ. he can’t defeat father time. we know enough

  • Lloyd

    What level was that? He averaged 13 pts sure, but the Lakers went 4-2. The games they lost, they lost by an average of 15 pts. The games they won were by an average of 3 and were against the Bobcats and the Grizzlies when they were struggling before Marc came back. Even if Kobe can duplicate even a fraction of his old self at his age after 2 serious injuries, which is unlikely, the Lakers aren’t winning anything.

  • Tanya Stephen

    my&nbsproomate’s&nbspaunt&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­κ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­ѕ&nbsp$­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­75/hr&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspl­­­­­­а­­­­­­р­­­­­­τ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­р.&nbspShe&nbsphas&nbspbeen&nbspunemployed&nbspfor&nbspfive&nbspΜ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspbut&nbsplast&nbspΜ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ&nbspher&nbspр­­­­­­а­­­Уment&nbspwas&nbsp$­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­17249&nbspjust&nbspW­­­­­­օ­­­­­­r­­­­­­κing&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspl­­­­­­а­­­­­­р­­­­­­τ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­р&nbspfor&nbsp
    a&nbspϜ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­W&nbspհ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­υ­­­­­­rs.&nbspread&nbspreview,
    …&nbsphtt&#112&#x3A&#x2F&#47GoogleProjectsjob2014viewsimfr7zm&#x2E&#113&#114&#46&#110&#x65&#116&#47&#x6F&#119&#97&#87

    ❚❚❚ ❚❚❚ ❚᜖❚❚ ❚❚⧭❚❚ ❚❚❚ ❚❚❚ ❚❚❚The Shock Exchange thinks it’s best that Horry Jr continue to rehab so that he can come back healthy for next season.

  • JJ Jones

    Like I said ill believe it when it actually happens. He doesnt depend on athleticism to score so aging shouldn’t effect him as much

  • bike

    Kobe Motherfu*kin Bryant.

  • Tmzulator

    You are debating this with the guy who thinks Lebron’s time as an elite player is coming to an end before he’s even 30. Think about that. Being realistic about basic human capabilities isn’t a priority in his world. The young guy with no major injuries has less of a chance at long term elite play and championships than the majorly injured 35 year old. I think we know enough not to engage JJ in these discussions.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • Tmzulator

    Hehehehe

  • JJ Jones

    His last game besides all of their pgs went down so he was thrown in as a point guard at the last minute having not played for 8 months. And yes I agree the lakers winning anything in the near future is slim

  • JJ Jones

    I never said lebron wouldn’t be elite just not as dominant as he is now. His fundamentals besides passing arent particular special

  • Evan Boland

    True but he has size, ball IQ, vision and a willingness to be the best. Much like Kobe, I don’t see ‘Bron taking well to being considered a lesser version of himself. I don’t think he will age quite as smoothly as Kobe but we shall see. His athleticism hasn’t really diminished at all thus far.

  • Caboose

    Really? Were you saying the same sh!t at the start of the season too?

  • Caboose

    His fundamentals aren’t spectacular. Seriously? Seriously. Go ahead and argue that, I really do want to hear THAT full argument.

  • JJ Jones

    Exactly what I’m saying then again d wade looked fine when he was 29 to and u saw what happened the next year

  • JJ Jones

    His footwork isn’t great, he gets open space on his jumper because teams play him for the drive and should he lose that athleticism hell have to hit them contested ala jordan/kobe, hes really not all that skilled in creating space for his shot, ball handling average (u won’t see him crossing players up) he has improved a lot in the post though but not enough to overcome those other deficiencies. What makes lebron a special player? Well hes the greatest transition player in history (fades with age), lockdown defender(fades with age) great rebounder(in most cases also fades with age), shot blocking (fades with age)Jump shooters tend to remain elite longer in this league while players who mostly depend on physical prowess (vince carter, dwyane wade) He isnt jordan or kobe offensively so I can see him struggling a bit to make the transition seamlessly.

  • Caboose

    Dude, that whole argument sounds like you’re talking about LeBron from 2008. You are aware he’s expanded his game since then, right?

  • pposse

    my guess is lebron will really start putting a hurting on guys in the post post 31-32ish.

  • Caboose

    Agreed, but what do you actually think a “whole Kobe” is at this point? I say the best he’ll be able to do FOR A WHOLE SEASON is 17-4-4 on around 41% shooting. Which is ok, but terrible given his contract. Do you really think he’ll come back at 25-5-5? Still?

  • Caboose

    Yeah, cause Wade had INJURIES in his career. You are aware he’s never played 80 games in a season right? And that IN HIS PRIME (age 25-26), he only played 102 out of 164 possible games. LeBron has NOTHING like this, nothing even close to that magnitude. He has no nagging conditions that slow him down. It’s the fact that Wade has NEVER been a healthy player that’s cut down his prime.

  • JJ Jones

    Yeah that’s why hes really emphasized his post game this year?

  • JJ Jones

    Dude I just explained this his improved his fundamentals but they arent at a high enough level to compensate should he lose his athletic ability. Jordan was a beast from mid range long before his twilight years, kobe had every move/counter long before the end of their prime so the transition was natural for them. Lebron could become more of a magic johnson type but his scoring/defense/rebounding will take a hit

  • JJ Jones

    Right so age had nothing to do with wades drop off at all right? Hes 32 but he hasn’t lost anything it was just the knee injuries. So u really think lebron is going to be doing at 32 what hes doing now?

  • JJ Jones

    I do believe that hell be able to come back as that. Remember in 2011 kobe had no explosion or lift whatsoever and still put up 25 ppg regardless because he of his offensive skill set. Kobe was torching TONY ALLEN and was on pace decor a 30+ point game before he injured his knee in the third quarter. He took one shot for the rest of the game after that and ended up with 21. Remember this is kobe out of shape. As hes said before he requires long hours of off season work to retain his high level of play which he obviously wasnt able to do last summer which is why I’m expecting him to be the 2011 version of himself next season.

  • X

    Funny you said that. You are the same dude talking about the rest of us needing to believe in the impending dynasty of the Thunder when we see it, like that’s not a realistic thing to do. At the same time you argue that you need to actually see the 35 year old, recovering from major injuries, with 18 seasons of pro basketball under his belt decline in order to believe it. You aren’t being realistic and you know it. You are being hopeful, but not realistic. You have some really backwards opinions. Prior rings count in this argument, but age and injuries aren’t real important factors for you. You look silly right now.

  • JJ Jones

    Like I’ve said I dont know how many times kobes skillset doesnt depend on athletic ability to score. Everyone said he was declining in 2011 and what happened in 2012-2013? He had people questioning if he was on ped or not. He won’t be that explosive anymore but like I said he doesnt have to play above the rim to score. He played SIX games this year not even enough for a preseason scoring 21 against tony allen in his last game and u declare hes done. He wasnt exactly in shape either he works out 7 hours a day in the off season for a reason. He had no explosion in 2011 either but still managed to put up 25 ppg hmm. It is possible that he could be injury prone for the rest of his career though

  • The truth

    You can’t read very well can you? Kobe is arguably the most fundamental scorer of all time. And yeah I dont really see anyone stopping okc in the near future either considering how young they are and where they’re at now.

  • Happy

    Which means that he will miraculously be able to overcome two consecutive major injuries at 35? Being a fundamental scorer, though most times inefficient, does not translate into doing what is nearly inhuman. Do you comprehend that basic idea? Neither you nor “JJ” have a single precedent to support your theory in this case. Do you know what precedent is? Let me give you an idea. Not a single player who has had such back-to-back major injuries has been able to return to elite status after nearly two decades of play at 35 years of age. That means you have no precedent. Keep repeating “the most fundamental scorer of all time” all you want. It just looks stupid that you actually think it’s an appropriate counter argument.

  • Happy

    Quick question: Was Kobe coming off of two major injuries at age 35 in 2012-2013? No? Okay. Case closed.

  • Happy

    What exactly makes Kobe a more fundamental scorer than Jordan or Kareem exactly? Kobe has more range on shot, but Jordan had a better post game and was more efficient, so I can’t even agree with you saying he’s the most “fundamental scorer” of all time.

  • the truth

    Knee with no cartilage in 2011. Came back from it. His achilles isnt even an issue anymore not being in shape was. Give him a chance to get in shape first before writing him off. It amazes me how people keep writing kobe off yet he continues to prove them wrong.

  • Happy

    I bet you believe Kobe will be elite forever. I mean, if you think it’s outrageous that people think he’ll experience a major decline when he comes back considering the his present physical limitations, you pretty much never will. I’m sure you think being a “fundamental scorer” means he’ll never experience any downturn in his game. No point in arguing with you. Kobe is from Krypton and the rest of the league is just human. I get it now.

  • Happy

    Exactly! Age is important when it comes to Lebron and the rest of the league, but not Kobe. Lebron, with an ever evolving game & no real injuries, is clearly on the down side of his career. Kobe will undoubtedly return to form in what will essentially be season 20 if you count playoff games. Definitely in the f@cking twilight zone here.

  • the truth

    Hell drop off defensively but not offensively. Do u really think kobe would have come back if he couldnt play at a high level? In his own words” u think I’m going to stick around and score 18-19 points a game hell no”. Work ethic has a lot to do with it. Its silly to write this man off after he torched tony allen in his last game but no hes done because u said so. Kobe isnt an average player hes an all time great for a reason.

  • Tmzulator

    Kobe dropped off defensively 9 seasons ago. Sporadic performances once or twice a season do not make one an elite defender. You probably think those All NBA Defensive teams were legit too. I guess you believe he will be the only all time great to not ever be affected by age and injury. You do realize it takes lift and strength to even shoot a jump shot over a defender, right? I think it’s safe to assume you’ve never played high level organized ball. You have no clue about the physical aspects of cutting, shooting, stopping short. All take tremendous energy. Those movements alone are the most taxing on your connective tissues. Basic movements for a scorer to avoid a defender are directly affected by his type of injuries. Kobe’s physical mileage is probably top 5 all time already. Add in those factors with the injuries and you are a little boy worshiping a hero if you think your Kobe quotes override human biology. The fact that anyone even has to explain this disqualifies your opinion. Sure, anybody can hog the ball and shoot 20 shots to get 25 points. That won’t make anyone an elite scorer and damn sure not a winner. Father Time always wins. By your argument, Kobe will always be an elite player. Do you see how foolish that is?

  • the truth

    I meant his defensive ability. Obviously hes been lazy on defense for years now but could still lock down man to man when needed (Brandon Jennings, dwyane wade, kyrie Irving, westbrook, lebron) I dont think hell be able to do that anymore. Besides in 2011 when he played with NO CARTILAGE in his knee he still put up 25 ppg and he wasnt explosive then wither with a broken fingers I might add. Mileage is overrated I guess we should count game mileage during player workouts too right. No one said that kobe overrides human biology but you act like hes never played through injuries before. Like I said give him a chance to get a summer of training I before writing him off.

  • Happy

    Do you know the difference between cartilage, ligament, and tendon? I mean, without Google, do you have a grasp on the physiology of connective tissues? You just typed that mileage is overrated so that’s why I’m asking. Then you followed up that statement by saying “No one said that Kobe overrides human biology”. You didn’t say it verbatim, but your whole argument centers around unrealistic expectations from a physiologic standpoint. How do you not see how irrelevant prior injuries are in this discussion? What does a cracked finger have to do with devastating bone and tendon injuries of the lower extremities? This argument is ridiculous at this point.

  • the truth

    I said arguably besides Jordan’s teams were better suited for him to play exclusively from the post while kobe always had to share it with big men. Jordan was more efficient because didn’t take as many stupid 3s as kobe tends to do. When it comes to footwork and overall scoring arsenal kobe is arguably the best ever at it he really doesnt have a weakness in his offensive game.

  • the truth

    Lebron is not as gifted offensively as jordan and kobe and you know it. What happens when lebron can’t beat people anymore and players start crowding him into tough jumpers not the open ones he tends to get. Jordan can hit them kobe can hit them lebron… of course hecould improve his postgame but I doubt its enough to compensate for his other deficiencies. What makes lebron a special player? His athletic ability transition offense defense and rebounding all except passing fades with age. U didn’t even address any of facts that i presented u with u just keep going on about how kobe is done when people have been wrong about that for half a decade now

  • the truth

    What part of his achilles is healed do u not understand? Hes already gone through knee issues before this isnt anything new

  • Tim

    Jordan has never played exclusively from the post. Do you know what exclusively means? Never exclusively, but more than Kobe during the Shaq era. Jordan’s shot selection was indeed better than Kobe’s. That a fundamental part of scoring and basketball I.Q. Jordan’s footwork was also pretty damn amazing. I feel like too many people, especially kids born near the end of Jordan’s career, marvel at Kobe like he didn’t pattern damn near every part of his game after Jordan. Lets be clear here, Kobe isn’t the best ever at scoring. He’s great, but some of us actually witnessed, without YouTube, the better version.

  • Tmzulator

    You need everything spelled out for you I see. A human being at his age, who suffered the two worst injuries of his career in lower extremities has very little chance of a return to elite pro basketball form. Kobe will be good. Above average for sure. Elite is a stretch. And no, Kobe hasn’t broken bones in his knee following a ruptured Achilles tendon. I agree, you don’t have a firm grasp on how the body ages and heals over time. You certainly don’t understand how they affect movement in high level athletics. Previously broken bones are more likely to break than those that remain intact. At his age he will be much more injury prone. But he’s not human so what am I saying?

  • Tmzulator

    Because you aren’t presenting facts. Those are statement that do not reflect reality. Lebron has always been a pretty good mid range jumpshooter. Taking away transition points will still get him over 18ppg, which unlike Kobe, he’ll get efficiently. Add his post game and passing and he will be fine. What makes him a special player? The fact that he’s a 6-9 point guard in a SF body that can bully a lot of guys down low. What you “doubt” or think will happen is irrelevant at this point. You can’t even grasp basic concept on how the body declines. Do you realize that none of your Kobe arguments leave room for him ever not being an elite player? You think Kobe will be elite forever? There is no scenario in your mentality that is open to realistic physical capabilities. Your argument is what? That kobe can play until he’s 50 and still be elite? “Kobe is skilled and can overcome injury, so he will be able to play forever of he wants”. Thats what your position boils down to. Have a good day.

  • the truth

    18 ppg is what I call washed up. And no I believe kobe can remain elite until his contract ends but no longer than that otherwise he would have retired. Lebron mid range jumper is so great that the spurs left in him open for 7 damn games with him only converting in game 4 and 7 are u serious. Jordan is a good midrange shooter along with kobe, dirk durant, Larry bird etc . Like stephen a smith last week shooters play at an elite level while players who depend on athleticism have a quicker expiration date. Its lebrons time right now so of course this is hard to understand NOW but in 2-3 years well lets just say he wont be 2nd 3 peat mj

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