Mike D’Antoni Says Kobe Bryant to Still Miss ‘a Bunch of Games’

Despite an encouraging return to practice over the weekend, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni cautions against anyone expecting Kobe Bryant to suit up for a game anytime soon. Per the LA Times: “I know we’re all excited, everybody’s excited, and I’m sure he’s excited, but [it’s] a little bit premature right now,’ D’Antoni said Sunday. ‘You’re dealing with, ‘Is he sore today? Is there a setback tomorrow?’ That’s the first step and there’s a lot of steps to be taken, so I just think we need to be cautious. We just better be cool and chill out a little bit.’ Saturday’s practice was closed to reporters, but Bryant ‘surprised most people’ and did some jumping but no dunking, D’Antoni said. ‘Two 360s and threw the ball off the side of the wall and dunked one time,’ D’Antoni joked. […] The big question — what will Bryant look like when he returns? ‘There will be some struggles early. There’s no way that he comes back with everything,’ D’Antoni said. ‘But at the same time, his 10% is better than most people.’ D’Antoni was optimistic that Bryant would eventually be fine. He averaged 27.3 points, six assists and 5.6 rebounds last season. ‘He’ll be what he is. He’ll drive and he’ll do what he does and he’ll post up and he posts up great, so obviously we’ll do that,’ D’Antoni said. ‘We’ll get him at all the spots he’s good at.'”