Kobe Bryant spoke to the media at the Los Angeles Lakers training facility for the first time since Lakers media day on Wednesday afternoon, right before the team hopped on a plane headed to Las Vegas. The Lakers are just under three weeks away from opening night. Will Kobe be ready to suit up?
“I haven’t said anything and I just keep it all open right now. I don’t know why you guys are so hell bent on timelines it’s like the most ridiculous thing, it’s entertaining. When I’m ready, I’m ready.”
Though Kobe wasn’t ready to give a yes/no answer, his conversation with the media this afternoon led to some telling hints about his progression. First, we learned that Kobe is running at 100 percent on the anti-gravity treadmill, which means that Kobe is able to run at his full body weight. Kobe said he’s most concerned about his physical shape, noting that muscle endurance, after being out for six months, takes time.
“The explosiveness. The muscle endurance, which takes a little time. And then, you know, I gotta get my fat [expletive] in shape too. Six months of eating whatever the hell I wanted to eat and not running and stuff has caught up to me a little bit so I gotta get in shape.”
Though it’s hard to believe Kobe didn’t keep a disciplined diet the past several months, he insisted donuts and sugar cookies were definitely on the menu. He’s been testing the flexibility and mobility of his Achilles, but still taking it one day at a time. He has attempted jumping, but clarified it was only “a little bit…nothing too explosive.”
The most telling moment of his progress came when Kobe was asked about how long it would take him to get in physical shape once he was give the “green light” to do so. After confidently saying that he’d need “three strong weeks of pushing,” Kobe revealed that he’s already been given the green light.
“I’ve got the green light right now to be able to do that – it’s just a matter of having that flexibility and the strength to be able to run at high speeds out there on the court or on the track.”
Though Kobe’s been given the okay to start his conditioning process, Kobe won’t start his three-week program until he feels that he has the strength and flexibility to handle the rigorous training. Lakers fans can rejoice, though, in knowing that Kobe’s been given the green light to start his training, whenever he’s ready.
VIDEO: Will Kobe Be Ready For Opening Night? He Answers The Question…