Even after all of the moves the Los Angeles Lakers made this off-season, the biggest question that surrounds the team this season is what exactly to expect from Kobe Bryant. The 36 year old is entering his 20th and possibly final season and coming off shoulder surgery.
No one knows quite what to expect from Bryant this season, or what level he will play at, but TNT analyst Kenny Smith just wants Kobe to be healthy according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
I just hope he’s healthy, healthy as a 36 year old can be,” Smith said on Wednesday. “I’m hoping for that. I’m not hoping for Kobe of 22. That’s not going to happen.”
With Kobe coming off of three straight season-ending injuries, most fans would echo the thoughts of Smith in hoping for Kobe to stay healthy. As for the Lakers themselves, Smith believes that Kobe and his healthy will be the biggest factor in how the Lakers look:
It all depends on Kobe’s injuries and how well healthy is he,” Smith said. “That’s going to dictate what happens next door here at Staples Center.”
The Lakers failed in bringing in the big names they hoped this off-season, but they did improve the roster with solid additions in Roy Hibbert, Louis Williams, and Brandon Bass.
Second overall pick D’Angelo Russell, last year’s lottery pick Julius Randle, and fellow second-year player Jordan Clarkson will also play major roles, but the health of Kobe Bryant will be essential in the Lakers’ success this season.