The Los Angeles Lakers will open the 2015-16 campaign tonight against the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves, pitting Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett against one another for the umpteenth time in their storied NBA careers.
Kobe, who sought out KG’s advice before turning pro himself right out of high school nearly 20 years ago, says he’s amazed by how long the two future Hall of Famers have been at it.
Kobe recalled when he called KG while making his decision to go pro out of HS as KG just had. Said it’s “amazing” they’re both still here.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 27, 2015
“It’s fantastic. It’s amazing. It brings a smile to my face, man. Because I remember thinking about making my decision [to enter the NBA draft] and speaking on the phone with him, him going through his first season. Now fast forward, his 21st season, my 20th. it’s pretty amazing.”
Bryant, 37, reports that his leg injury is “slowly getting better”; The Black Mamba won’t be under any kind of minutes restriction during the season-opener.
From the Lakers’ team website:
For the first time since suffering a lower-leg contusion against Sacramento in preseason two weeks ago, Kobe Bryant spoke with the media to give an in-person update on his status heading into Wednesday’s season opener against Minnesota. […] “The injury’s been slowly getting better,” Bryant said at Tuesday’s practice. “The past couple of days I’ve been able to move a lot more (and) do some of the things I feel comfortable doing.”
“The past couple of days he’s looked pretty good,” Head coach Byron Scott said. “The only thing I was really worried about was conditioning. But (at) the last couple days of him getting up and down, he looks more fluid. I’m gonna just play him like I would normally play him.” […] Scott says Bryant will play on Wednesday, barring unforeseen obstacles. Bryant missed the Lakers’ final three exhibitions due to his ailment.
Despite also suffering season-ending injuries to his Achilles tendon, knee and rotator cuff in the last three consecutive seasons, Bryant is not discouraged by the time missed in preseason. […] “The reality is that injuries happen to everybody,” Bryant said. “You have to continue to look at it from a macro level and a macro perspective. You look around the league and there are a lot of players that have gotten injured. I’ve gotten injured pretty much every training camp since I’ve been in the league. I don’t try to put too much emphasis on it. Just try to stick to the program.”