One of the biggest questions coming into this season is Kobe Bryant’s return, and what level he will be able to come back at. At his age, and coming off two major injuries, many doubt whether Bryant can regain the elite status he held before the injuries.
One person who is not worried about Kobe is Lakers’ part-owner and President, Jeanie Buss, who revealed her thoughts on Kobe’s return to Time Warner Cable SportsNet on their ‘Inside The Lens’ series:
Phil told me when Kobe got hurt, he said ‘Jeanie it’s gonna take a year, but he will come back.’ And I know Kobe. He put a lot of pressure on himself to help the team out last season […] He came back after six months, but now I know he’s healed, and he’s ready to play, so I’m really not worried about him coming back and contributing.
By all accounts, Kobe has look excellent in his workouts this off-season and has taken the time to work with some of his teammates such as Nick Young and Wesley Johnson.
New head coach Byron Scott has said that he believes Kobe will still be able to average 20 points even if he’s bad, and James Harden says he’s going to be 20-year old Kobe.
If those watching from afar are to be believed, Kobe should definitely be one of the elite players in the NBA once again. But nothing will be known for sure until he takes the court on October 28.[divide]
Kobe Bryant’s Big Drop In Sports Illustrated’s 2014 NBA Player Rankings