Mike D’Antoni Reiterates That Kobe Will Not Play In Season Opener

kobe treadmillThe Lakers tip off their season against the Clippers tonight, and one of the biggest questions about this coming season has been when Kobe Bryant will return to the team.

During the team’s trip to China, Bryant was jogging on the court and shooting before one of the Lakers games against the Warriors, but has since scaled back his rehab process to give his Achilles a bit of a rest. Still, many wondered if Bryant would be able to suit up tonight, according to the LA Daily News.

“There will be no Willis Reed tomorrow night,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, referring to former New York Knicks forward limping toward the court in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals after nursing a torn muscle in his right thigh. “We’re not trying to hide or pull a curtain back like the Wizard of Oz. There’s nothing behind the curtain. He’ll go when he can go.”

Bryant coming back when not fully healthy wouldn’t be a smart move. It would be detrimental to the team and detrimental to his recovery process.

Bryant returning to the team is still a ways away. During Monday’s practice, Bryant was running on the anti-gravity treadmill. Despite him not running on the hard court, the Lakers are saying that he hasn’t suffered any setbacks. It’s just a matter of being patient with Bryant and ensuring that his return is at the right time.

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