Posted November 30, 2013

Mike D’Antoni: Kobe Bryant could return soon

The Kobe Bryant return time is still up in the air, but could be as early as Friday. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant’s return time is still up in the air, but could be as early as Friday. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, but he might be back on the court Friday against the Sacramento Kings.

Bryant has been rehabbing a torn Achilles that ended his season in April. The Lakers have no games between Sunday and Friday, giving Bryant a full week to test his strength.

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said Bryant will use the three practice days leading up to Friday’s game to evaluate whether he will be ready to play. From Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles:

“I don’t want to anticipate anything,” D’Antoni said after practice Saturday. “Those are days that he can work and see, re-evaluate how he feels after the three days and then make a decision going forward.

“That doesn’t mean he will play Friday, doesn’t mean he won’t. But that’s the time you just evaluate, and I can’t tell you what type of evaluation that will be.”

There’s still no exact timetable for Bryant’s return, but D’Antoni acknowledged he is getting closer. From ESPN:

“He’ll be listed pretty soon as ‘day to day,’” D’Antoni said. “And everybody knows that’s the way it is. When he’s ready to roll, he’ll go.”

Bryant just signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension with the Lakers last week, then said he was still “probably weeks” away from a return.


Kobe Bryant is going to go down as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. I think we should keep this all in mind--Among other things, Bryant is a 15-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team.  As of March 2013, he ranks third and fourth on the league's all-time postseason scoringand all-time regular season scoring lists, respectively.  He has also been a part of give NBA Championship teams—if you want to look at this as an after-thought-


The earlier Kobe returns the better the chances for the Lakers to get a lottery pick.

J Taylor
J Taylor

Makes a lot of sense: A lot of warm-ups against subpar teams, at home with access to medical facilities, and teams where Bryant should be a difference-maker. All with a goal of playing the NEXT Friday against OKC.

Friday against a bad team: Sacramento

2 Days Rest.

Sunday vs. Toronto

2 Days Rest.

Tuesday vs. Phoenix

3 Days Rest


Bonus: Nash could return this week too!