Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was back at practice this afternoon with the Lakers having four days off between games. Bryant was first at practice on Saturday and was cleared for full contract the next day.
Bryant participated in the full-court portion of the practice and when the media was let in he was on the starting unit for a half-court scrimmage. While the reports sound like Bryant is back to his normal self, head coach Mike D’Antoni left the door open for a possible Bryant return on Friday according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Mike D’Antoni says he’d be surprised if Kobe came back Friday. Impossible maybe not. But would definitely be surprised
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 19, 2013
It sounds like Bryant ran at full speed throughout practice and the starting unit defeated the bench 21-3 with help from the 35-year-old guard. A shooting guard for seemingly his entire career, Bryant was playing the small forward position at practice today as leading scorer Jodie Meeks got the nod at the two spot.
The Lakers will play Friday and Sunday before embarking on a three-game road trip to the east coast and it sounds like there’s a chance Bryant could make his return during this upcoming stretch. At 5-7, the Lakers find themselves with a solid starting lineup with the emergence of Jordan Hill, but getting Bryant back will do wonders for the team.
Reviews of Bryant at practice suggest he was facilitating more as it’s his first time playing with so many unfamiliar faces from the last time he was on the court last April. Throughout the process, Bryant has maintained that he nor the Lakers have a timeline or date in mind when he’ll return to the court, but it’s getting to the point where the next game could be his first of the season.
ICYMI: Pau Gasol discusses Jordan Hill’s evolution after win over Pistons.
Don’t forget to head over to our Lakers Nation Store to get your hands on our Kobe Vino T-Shirt!