Something is in the air in Los Angeles that has the city in good spirits. Is it the quickly approaching holiday season? Nope, even better; Kobe Bryant has been medically cleared from his Achilles injury and is now a participant in practice.
The buzz around LA has reached his teammates and is sure to get them playing with a new level of energy and intensity.
Shawne Williams just got excited with a simple prompting of how Kobe looked in practice. “Man, the whole atmosphere changed!”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 18, 2013
With the Lakers’ newfound youth and athleticism at the perimeter, Kobe will be joining a team very different to the one he left in April. More shooters and no Dwight mean a less congested lane and a more spread out floor as evidenced by trailing only Golden State in 3-point field goals made per game.
Last year Kobe Bryant had, in my opinion, one of the best seasons of his career as a 34 year old vet and some analysts doubt whether he can get back to that level of play.
If you were to ask the man himself, he would tell you that he will be an improved player from years past when he returns to the hardwood.
What did Kobe improve while he was out? “I’m a lot, lot stronger. Able to hold defenders off with my off-hand. Much, much stronger.”
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 19, 2013
A stronger Kobe Bryant? That should be illegal in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
This stronger Kobe has been quoted as saying that he could envision himself returning to the court before the month of November is over.
Returning from an injury with the severity such as a ruptured Achilles will undoubtedly be one of Kobe’s most difficult obstacles to overcome. However, if we have learned anything from watching the Black Mamba compete for the past 17 years, it is that you do not doubt him.