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Kobe Bryant On His Season Debut: ‘I Guess It’s A Good Start’

Photo by The Associated Press.

Photo by The Associated Press.

Kobe Bryant started his 18th season Sunday in Los Angeles, an underwhelming 9-point, 8-turnover effort in a Lakers loss to the Toronto Raptors. No, it was not the Bryant last seen destroying teams prior to his Achilles tear last April. However, he’s still back!.

The 35-year-old superstar accessed his outing and prospects.

On his overall feeling: “I feel very optimistic. Like, I know exactly what I need to do. So, that part’s exciting. I think the last time I had eight months off I was still in the womb. So, it felt good to get out there.”

On how his surgically repaired Achilles is coming along: “I feel fine. Probably (there will be soreness), but that soreness is just because I’m like 60. My tendon feels completely fine. Now it’s just managing the body and making sure you have proper nutrition and hydration and stretching and ice baths and all that fun stuff and doing what you have to do to make sure you’re ready day in and day out.”

On playing at 225 pounds with 8 percent body fat: “I need to drop some more (weight). I need to be a little lighter.”

On the process of returning to himself: “It’s like chopping a tree. One swing of the axe is not going to get it done. You just have to keep at it, keep at it, keep at it and keep at it and stay focused internally on what you have to do to improve.”

On what excites him about returning: “I couldn’t wait to start watching the film and start criticizing every little thing. That’s the exciting part. The exciting part is you got a challenge, you got improvements to make and you sit and you watch them and you break it down and you get ready for the next game and you carry it from there.”

On his comfort level Sunday night: “My rhythm is completely out of sync in terms of being able to read passing lanes and judge the timing of players in between those lanes and so forth. But I guess it’s a start. I guess a start is good.”

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