With three straight practices before Friday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings, there is optimism that Kobe Bryant may make his first official return to the basketball court. It was the first time Bryant has practiced since last Saturday as the five-time champion continues to measure what he can do on the court.
After the first of three practices, teammate Pau Gasol said that Bryant looked good and is looking forward to seeing what he can do at tomorrow’s practice. Head coach Mike D’Antoni shared similar sentiments and added that there wasn’t anything Bryant couldn’t do on the court according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
More D’Antoni on @kobebryant: “Today was a big step forward … I didn’t see anything he couldn’t do.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 3, 2013
With D’Antoni and his teammates very complimentary about how Bryant looked on the practice court, a return is near. While there continues to be great optimism, Bryant will still have to continue measuring what he can still do and adapt to his limitations during these two days of practice.
Without Bryant, the Lakers have gotten off to an impressive 9-9 start, but have missed him in numerous close games this season. The Lakers could have potentially won more games, but seem to be content with this current record. With the best closer in the game returning as soon as Friday, Bryant will look to lead the Lakers into the playoffs and exceed low expectations from the media.
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