Kobe Bryant’s latest “annual” trip to Germany does nothing to quell the mystery of who he will be upon his NBA return this season.
Just two weeks before the start of NBA training camp and on the heels of playing in just six games last season with lingering leg issues, the L.A. Lakers star took off this week for yet another strategy session with his German physician and more still not fully U.S. approved Orthokine plasma therapy treatments.
What may come of the bottom-line effects of all the new-age medicine on Bryant largely paints the picture of where the Lakers figure to stand in their Western Conference reclamation efforts this season. If it’s any consolation to Lakers fans, know that Bryant has declared this the season for all business, posting on his own website he won’t so much as take the time to enjoy the fruits of Octoberest while he vacations abroad.
While admitting earlier this summer even he doesn’t expect to be the same kind of player, the 36-year-old Hall of Fame-bound, lifelong Laker has still vowed to be everything he’s always been. Still, Coach Byron Scott seems to recognize the need to perhaps protect Bryant from himself.
“I’m not going to sacrifice his body just to try to win a game,” Scott recently told reporters, adding that he plans to initially limit how much Bryant practices and plays. “We know how hard he works, we know how driven he is. He understands that he only has a few more miles left on that body, you know, maybe two, maybe three years. And I think he’s probably more acceptable to accept the fact that you can’t practice every day. There might be some games where you can’t play this game or that game. But that’s all to be determined.”
Best laid plans aside, Scott has to know he’ll have his work cut out for him convincing Kobe not to at the least try to be Kobe. Good luck with that, Coach, only the Lakers’ chances of rebounding from their worst season in franchise history (27-55) and the organization’s immediate future largely depend on his power of persuasions.