Flip-flops and sweat pants were not quite the attire everyone was hoping for Kobe Bryant to be in at practice today. Despite not practicing for his seventh consecutive day, Bryant sure was vocal from the sidelines with his teammates, and Mike Brown has been noticing that all week.
“Right now I just look at him as an assistant coach. He may not like to hear that because he doesn’t want to take a big pay cut. But he’s been in tune, involved with practice everyday.”
It’s great that Kobe’s using his time of rest to get in some reps as an assistant coach, but are his other teammates worried?
Pau Gasol seems to be up in the air on whether he can see Kobe playing tomorrow.
“He’s a player that’s played through anything and everything. It might bother him a lot to be out now for seven days without stepping on the floor, being with the team and maybe not playing tomorrow. He might play tomorrow, who knows.”
Steve Nash also mentioned the sheer toughness of Kobe, but also said that with or without the Black Mamba, they will have their work cut out for them in Tuesday’s opener against the Dallas Mavericks.
“It gets in the way of our growth if we don’t have a full lineup.”
Throughout the past week, Brown has been the one most vocal in understanding that if Kobe isn’t practicing, he has a good reason. That reason is pain.
“He’s a tough tough cookie, and he’s been through a lot. We have to have other guys step up.”
Again, Metta World Peace seems to be the only player on the Lakers roster convinced that nothing could stop Kobe from playing tomorrow’s first regular game of the season.
“I’ve seen this before. When Kobe was hurt, whether it’s preseason or regular season he played. This is the first game of the regular season…there’s no way I could see him missing the game.”
Kobe did miss his first two games coming off of knee surgery in 2006-2007. His official status is listed as day-to-day.
Practice Video: Dwight Howard talks about his sore and achy back after practice.