I’ve watched Kobe Bryant twice now since he has returned from his torn Achilles , and I have to be completely honest about what I have seen.
Kobe looks old.
Obviously it is just his first few games back and I’m not necessarily concerned much about the numbers so far because I’m sure they will rise as he continues to get more comfortable and play more minutes. But for me, it’s more so the way he has looked while I’ve watched him. There hasn’t been much explosion, I’ve seen him get by somebody off the dribble just once, and he has struggled with his shot. Not to mention, the Lakers haven’t won a game since he has been back.
But if you ask Kobe? There’s not much to worry about.
“I’m not worried about it, to be honest with you,” Bryant said. “We’ve seen worse. We forget kind of what we had to go through last year. I’m not really too concerned about it. I think our heart is in the right place. I think I saw a lot of positive things tonight; we just got to put it together for longer stretches. We’ll be fine.”
“I’m moving a lot better,” Bryant said after finishing with 4 points, 13 assists, 2 steals and 7 turnovers in 23 minutes against the Thunder. “It will get to a point soon where I’ll be able to play a little bit more and be out there on the court maybe 30, 35 minutes or something like that. It’s not ready for that yet, but it will get there.”
“Once I start playing a little bit more, that number is going to go up,” Bryant said. “The points will go up. I’m not too concerned about that. I think the most important thing is our flow and how we play and how we manage the game. My points, I can always put the ball in the hole.”
It’s a long season and I’m sure the Kobe we see in February and March will look a lot different than the Kobe we’re looking at right now.
But watching him reminded me vaguely of watching Jordan’s last years in Washington.