SH Blog: Kobe out for USA team, LeBron compliments Nets offseason moves

Kobe BryantWhen Kobe Bryant infamously ruptured his Achilles tendon just before the start of the playoffs this past season, many wondered about the future of the superstar and whether he would ever regain his form. The assumption that he would likely have to miss at least the first couple months of the upcoming season was a foregone conclusion. It wasn’t even a matter of doubt. It was a simple matter of medical science and what is typically expected of players that suffer injuries of this magnitude.

If anyone could defy the odds, however, it would be Bryant. All we’ve heard since the guard underwent surgery is that he is far ahead of schedule, and Jim Buss has gone as far as say that he would make the bet that Bryant starts the season in uniform. Even his doctor predicted an early return. So what’s on the mind of Bryant as he continues to recover and rehab? Job B. De Leon of GMA News caught up with the guard to discuss the injury and what’s ahead:

“My [achilles] tendon feels really, really good. I feel strong,” said Bryant, grinning as he thanked his training and medical staff for his speedy recovery.

The initial diagnosis for Bryant’s injury was 9-12 months of recovery and rehabilitation. And though even many experts said he would never fully recover, with some even saying it was time for him to retire, reports on Bryant’s progress indicate that he might already be cleared for the start of the NBA season in late October.

As the competitor he is, Bryant is relishing the chance to prove doubters and haters wrong.

“I think it’s interesting because if to me, if somebody’s doubting that I can come back from this injury, that means if they had the same injury and my same situation, they’d quit, they wouldn’t be able to come back from it. When I hear that, I see signs of weakness,” he said.

“So me coming back and being stronger than I was before, what it says to the doubters is you can accomplish things that you didn’t think you can accomplish,” he concluded. And Bryant expects nothing less than the highest level of success for him and his team.

“I would say getting a sixth championship is [my] number one [priority], then I’d say a sixth championship is number two, and then a sixth championship is number three,” Bryant said, most likely meaning every word.

As mind-boggling as it would be to see him start the season in uniform, you almost expect this kind of progress and mentality from him. In fact, it would be a bigger surprise at this point if he isn’t ready to when November comes around.

Onto other news from around the league:


  1. jerry25 says

    Clearly Kobe is only interested in winning that 6th Championship, to tie Michael Jordan.
    However, it was that mentality that drove Dwight Howard away, and with it any chance to win a 6th. With 6 teams (Spurs, Clippers, Thunder, Rockets, Grizz and Warriors) a lock to make playoffs, and Nuggets and about 5 over teams competing for the last 2 spots, Kobe likely will be “pressing” again this season, regardless of when he starts playing.

    Kobe’s injury happened because he played too many minutes and was pushing himself too hard, as he saw the playoffs getting away from him. This season may be even more difficult, so I see a repeat of a season ending injury for Kobe. Lakers are an outright bad team, when you get past Kobe (post surgery), Gasol and an old Nash.
    Kobe would be wise to be precautionary and sit out the start of the season.

    Regarding LeBron being an NBA executive, I haven’t seen any reporter with the courage to remind people that he never went to College. People like Stackhouse have a big advantage over LeBron. Surely there are demands on the position to deal with Legal stuff and lots of CBA documentation. College people have written lengthy reports and have a clear advantage. Derek Fisher impressed me as being very capable. So does Stackhouse. LeBron just talks and plays a good game. He’s not book smart, which that position requires.

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