On Tuesday, Kobe Bryant will take the floor at the Staples Center for the first time in a NBA regular season game since going down with a knee injury in December of 2013. Kobe played in only six games last year before suffering a fractured knee that ultimately ended his season and shed a lot of doubt about his immediate future in the league.
One day before getting his 19th NBA season underway, Kobe spoke to the media at the Lakers practice facility and talked about opening night, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
Kobe on opening night: “Yeah, it’s step one of a long journey…I can’t say I haven’t missed the game. I’ve missed it so much."
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) October 27, 2014
Ironically enough, Kobe’s first game back from injury will be against former teammate, Dwight Howard. Kobe has yet to face Dwight since the star center left $30 million on the table in free agency to sign with the Houston Rockets.
Fortunately, despite many debating about whether Kobe has anything left in the tank, the five-time NBA champion showed signs of his dominant form in the preseason. There’s no question Kobe is not the same player physically, but he’s still able to put points on the board.
Although Kobe played well at times during the preseason, the veteran shooting guard will be tested right out of the gate. The Rockets are considered to be one of the best teams in the Western Conference heading into the 2014-15 NBA season while many anticipate the Lakers missing the playoffs for the second straight year.[divide]
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