Kobe Bryant has played just six games in the last 18 months because of injuries. So it was significant that Bryant was back on the court in the Los Angeles Lakers’ first practice of the 2014-15 season. More significant was that coach Byron Scott had to shut down the superstar guard after more than two hours of working out.
Bryant, coming off a torn Achilles tendon and a fracture in his left knee, “Looked good,” Scott said. ” I basically had to ask Kobe to shut it down. He went through one more drill and then shut it down. He felt great and could have done more, but right now it’s a progression.”
The future Hall of Fame player, entering his 19th season, said Scott’s workouts are challenging.
“This is the most running I’ve ever done in an NBA practice,” Bryant said. “It is, for sure. I’ve never run this much in an NBA practice. Everybody wants to play defense but when you’re not in the condition to play defense you go back to your natural instinct, which is to play offense first.”
Bryant said he is anxious to see how he plays this season.
“I love playing the game,” he said. “I truly enjoy it. The game was becoming a little stale, but the Achilles injury ignited a new challenge for me personally to see if I can do this because you don’t know. This was a challenge that presented itself to see if I can make this a successful comeback. My concerns are no different from anybody else’s in being able to come back from this. A lot of it is the same thing. If I can prove to myself that I can do this I can prove it to everybody else as well.”