Kobe Bryant was not at Lakers training camp Thursday because he was back in Germany getting more platelet-rich plasma therapy on his right knee, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The Lakers would only confirm Thursday at practice that he had gone overseas for a mystery medical procedure that had nothing to do with the Achilles tendon injury he is still recovering from, something reported by Mark Medina at the Los Angeles Daily News (among many others). It was pretty obvious from the start what was going on.
The procedure Kobe has done basically takes his own blood than spins out the healing platelet in it, then those platelet are injected back into the knee. This all helps healing in the knee, according to those who believe in the procedure. There aren’t a bunch of double-blind studies on this, but Kobe believes it works so at the very least it works for him.
Kobe is expected to rejoin the team early next week.
Mike D’Antoni says he is not at all concerned about Kobe’s procedure and the impact on his rehab, although what did you expect him to say? D’Antoni is not the one with the power in the Kobe/D’Antoni relationship.
Bryant actually jogged lightly on hardwood Wednesday and stood to take some set shots. You can pretty safely rule him out of the first half of the Lakers preseason (which includes games overseas) and the Lakers have been working on the premise he would miss the entire preseason.
As for the regular season opener, nobody will say Kobe can’t be ready in 27 days, but based on where he is now I wouldn’t bet the rent money on it. Actually, I wouldn’t bet any money on it at all.
In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.
DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.
Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.
Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea.com.
“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”
The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?
In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.
I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.
Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.
The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:
The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.
Clean, simple, cool — I like it.
That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)