This will be a make-or-break season for Wesley Johnson. The former fourth overall pick in 2010 has had a mostly disappointing career to this point, but now in his second year with the Lakers, he will have the opportunity to prove he belongs in this league.
Someone else looking to prove some things to the rest of the league is Kobe Bryant, who wants to show that he isn’t declining like people think he is. Kobe’s off-season workouts are legendary, and many of his teammates have taken the time to join him this summer. None more than Johnson.
Johnson spoke to the OC Register’s Bill Oram and says Kobe looks like he will be the same as he has always been:
I think it will be the same Kobe, but I think – I don’t want to say (he’ll) tone it down – I think he’ll be more effective, more efficient. He’s not going to over-exert himself like he normally does.
One reason Johnson believes this is because of those crazy workouts. Johnson says they are far different than what most people would expect:
People come to work out (and think), ‘I’m going to get some shots up,’ or do what they do. But he takes it like it’s a preparation for the game […] Every move that he does is always calculated […] He goes hard. Anybody could tell you that’s worked out with him […] It’s tough. It’s tough.
Johnson added that the biggest thing he’s learned from Kobe this summer is seriousness, which is something the entire team will get from Bryant this season.
Hopefully these workouts pay dividends on Johnson who still has tons of potential, particularly on the defensive end. He will play a big role for the Lakers this year, and Kobe is making sure he will be ready for it.
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