The Lakers were unable to land any star-level players in free agency this summer, so the team’s fortunes will hinge almost completely on just how ready Kobe Bryant is to return from injuries that derailed him for all but six games last season.
L.A. team president and part-owner Jeanie Buss doesn’t feel that’s going to be a problem.
Speaking in a video interview with Lakers photographer Andy Bernstein on Time Warner Cable Sportsnet, Buss seemed confident that Bryant would return to form in the upcoming season.
As transcribed by Corey Hansford of Lakers Nation:
“Phil told me when Kobe got hurt, he said ‘Jeanie it’s gonna take a year, but he will come back.’ And I know Kobe. He put a lot of pressure on himself to help the team out last season […] He came back after six months, but now I know he’s healed, and he’s ready to play, so I’m really not worried about him coming back and contributing.”
New head coach Byron Scott may try to limit Bryant’s minutes, which would be wise — especially early on as he gets reacclimated to the grind of the regular season schedule. If his health issues are indeed behind him, Bryant should once again be a more than reliable scoring option, and one with the potential to occasionally put together some breathtaking performances.