Phil Jackson on Kobe Bryant: “He’s Not Ready to Play”
In all the hoopla surrounding the South Beach NWO, free agents moves, star players wanting to be traded and “Moist” Mo Williams depression, the Lakers have flown under the radar this offseason.
Now that the season is a mere two weeks away the question begs how is Kobe Bryant’s knee?
One thing you should know is that while Kobe is young in years (32), in basketball years he would be pushing almost 40. It is a product of coming straight out of high school and being with a franchise that always seems to go deep in the playoffs.
If you have been watching Kobe closely you see the slippage in physical ability, but an enhancement in mental ability. You combine that with a sheer determination to win and the result of that was back to back championships.
The clock is ticketing though, the mind can only over come the body for so long. It is just preseason but it bears watching. According to Phil Jackson it is going to take a little while for Kobe to round into shape after offseason surgery.
The Lakers went 0-for-Europe after a miserable shooting night in a 92-88 exhibition loss Thursday to FC Barcelona.
Kobe Bryant played almost 25 minutes but didn’t look sharp, making two of 15 shots and scoring 15 points, almost all of them at the free-throw line.
“He’s not ready to play,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. “He’s going out there to help the goodwill and to show the fans his presence on the floor and support his teammates.”
“My knee was feeling good. I was feeling fine, didn’t have any pain, any stiffness, so when that happens, you’ve really got to stretch it out as much as you can and try to get in rhythm as much as you can, and that’s what I’m trying to do,” Bryant said. “This is the first game I played in, really competed in, since Game 7″ of the NBA Finals.
This is Bean we are talking about, so I wouldn’t be overly concerned about him or the Lakers.
There is a sense of urgency though, because as the young guys start to “team up” in the hopes of winning multiple championships, Bryant is still looking to cement a legacy.
If that means pushing his way through another season of various ailments he will do it.
Would you beat against him?