With the 2014-15 Los Angeles Lakers roster near completion, and Byron Scott the new head coach, all the focus now is on Kobe Bryant. After two consecutive season ending injuries, there are question marks surrounding the five-time champion as he turns 36-years-old later this month.
In an interview with Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, the team’s athletic trainer Gary Vitti says he has 100 percent confidence that Bryant will be healthy:
I have 100 percent confidence that he’ll be healthy because of the way he handles his body and the style of play that we’ll compete at. We can’t play at a frenetic pace. We can push the ball when it’s there, and we can certainly let Kobe create out of the post with his back to the basket at this stage of his career.
In addition, Vitti suggests the new style of play will be “conducive” to what Kobe’s body will allow him to do this season:
And I think we’ll play a style of basketball that is conducive to what Kobe’s body will allow him to do, instead of putting him in situations that aren’t suited for him. I’m not saying that we should play the triangle – Byron is a Princeton guy and there are going to be a conglomeration of a lot of different things – but when we did, we controlled the pace of the game. Therefore, you put a player like Kobe in the best situation to be successful with the least amount of risk.
Throughout his entire career, Kobe has been able to adjust his game and remain one of the best players in the entire league. While the question marks will remain until the season officially gets underway, Bryant will have to find a way to thrive and that will likely come in the post.
For the Lakers, they enter the season with lower expectations once again after failing to sign LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony in free agency. However, there is optimism that they could make the playoffs with a completely healthy Kobe Bryant to go along with numerous players who have a chip on their shoulders in Carlos Boozer, Jeremy Lin, and Julius Randle.[divide]
One on One With Byron Scott, Chat 18 Yr Old Kobe Bryant