Asked after the game Sunday night what he thought of his form in his return from an Achilles tendon rupture, Kobe Bryant said, ““Right now my form is a horse s— form” and gave himself an “F.”
A day later, he softened his tone, speaking to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was,” Bryant said after going through a full practice Monday, a day after appearing in his first game in nearly eight months because of a torn Achilles in his left leg. “The turnovers and things like that, a lot of it was just mistiming. I made some pretty good reads, I got my guys some pretty good looks. In terms of a floor game, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.”
Now he gives himself a “D.” Kobe said he just has to do the same things he did in his return, just do them better.
The really important thing is that physically he felt fine — no soreness around the Achilles, no kind of setback. He will be ready to go Tuesday against the Suns.
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There was inevitably going to be a bump in the road as the Lakers tried to insert a new No. 1 option in the offense. Steve Blake had played as well as Mike D’Antoni could have hoped for, learning how to run his offense, and suddenly he was regularly playing off the ball. Other players were tentative and deferred to Kobe a little more than they should have.
That all should shake out in a few games, Kobe will get his rhythm back and the Lakers will be fine.
It just can’t take that long for the Lakers — the West is 13 teams deep with potential playoff squads so Los Angeles can’t afford to dig much of a hole while they figure things out. In the West there is no mercy. Just ask the Grizzlies.