Kobe Bryant has been out of action since December 17 with a broken knee cap, playing in only six games before suffering his second major injury in as many years. With the Lakers finishing one of the worst seasons in franchise history, Bryant has vowed to come back stronger than ever.
Signed on for $48.5 million over the next two years, the Lakers will need Bryant to return to form if they want any chance at competing for championships.
Bryant was recently cleared to run and shoot, and according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, he has begun his intensive six month training program in preparation for the 2014-15 season:
Bryant tried to distance himself from the Lakers as they went through a disastrous season. Instead of traveling with the team for their last few games, Bryant vacationed in Europe with his family.
For a man who has only been linked with greatness, Bryant seemingly wants nothing to do with anything that involves being the “worst in franchise history.”
Although he was away from the team for long periods, Bryant seems ready to put this season behind him and focus on the next stage of his career. He recently tweeted out that the team needs to “flush” the season and forget about it as well as stating that revenge is sweet and quick.
The Lakers have the cap space and assets to surround Bryant with a quality team this offseason, but they may choose to wait a year for the likes of Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kyrie Irving to hit free agency.
If Bryant is able to come back and contribute at an All-Star level, the Lakers could be a factor in the ultra competitive Western Conference.
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