Many believed that LeBron James would only join the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency if a second superstar was coming to join him.
Once the Lakers began signing veterans to one-year deals, some even began joking that Kobe Bryant would be next in line, making his return to the league.
Very few actually believe a Bryant return could actually happen, but that didn’t stop many from making the joke regardless. And of course, the ultimate prankster, Shaquille O’Neal, had to get in on it as well.
TMZ Sports recently caught up with O’Neal and he said that a comeback for his former teammate was in the works:
“Kobe coming back, I heard. Kobe coming back. You heard it here first.”
The likelihood of an actual comeback is slim to none. Bryant is 39 years old and while he is surely still in great shape, getting through an entire NBA season is completely different. Aside from all that, he has been doing great things off the court since his retirement and those things suddenly going on the backburner isn’t likely.
The Lakers are more than satisfied with the roster that they have assembled around James. The young core along with intriguing veterans on one-year deals gives them plenty of options for different lineup combinations during the 2018-19 NBA season.
Even without Bryant on the roster, the Lakers will have a team worth watching and a contender in the Western Conference. The five-time champion will be just fine watching from afar and his former teammate will continue making jokes along the way.
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