Kobe Bryant sat down with Lakers reporter Mike Trudell to discuss how his game may evolve due to the recovery process of his Achilles surgery. Kobe is expecting to be his old self and dominate once again on the court. According to Bryant, he is determined to play at a highly competitive level and make the Lakers playoff contenders once again.
“Its about taking on a challenge. Everything else that goes on around you is all peripheral opponents. But the challenge starts within.”
Trudell asked Kobe if he would have to adjust his game due to the Achilles recovery process and potential loss of speed. Kobe expressed how he may have to rely on having a superior repertoire of footwork, post-up work, and fade-away shots in his bag of tricks.
“It’s the way I grew up playing the game. I learned how to play a myriad of positions and different skill sets. There were times I wasn’t the fastest guy out there because I was playing against kids seven or eight years older than me. So I had to figure out how to be effective and that has helped me in my professional game because I can adjust my game and that’s why I can play through injuries or swollen ankles and loss of speed because of it.”
Kobe described how playing against older players growing up has helped him adjust his game to compete against faster, stronger and bigger players. He even played against grown adults in men’s league games as an eight-year-old in Italy.
Trudell asked Kobe if he thought that his speed or skills would be slightly diminished because of the Achilles. Kobe has such an all-around game that he doesn’t need to be reliant on his speed. Kobe developed his post-up game many years ago by the tutelage of the great Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwan.
“You just adjust. It’s not reinventing the wheel or anything like that. If you got to play a slower game then you play a slower game. If you have to post up more you post up more. If the explosiveness and speed is there you use it in moderation.”
Kobe was asked if Lakers fans could expect the same 24 as before. His response?
“That’s the one thing you can really count on as long as I’m here, I will be out there ready to go and I will be playing at a high level.”
The Black Mamba is hungrier than ever for two things. One to prove critics wrong. Two, to win his sixth NBA championship. The desire and determination for Kobe Bryant to get back to playing elite basketball is all he cares about.
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