If you love good basketball, it can be a joy to watch Kobe Bryant.
It’s a joy to watch his impeccable footwork when get gets the ball in the post. His efficient fadeaway. The way when he faces up he doesn’t over dribble but makes a quick, decisive move. He sees the game unfold and makes small adjustments. He a master of smart basketball.
That Kobe was back Monday night in the Lakers preseason opener (a win over the Denver Nuggets). Most importantly looked healthy and moved well. He finished the night with 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting, had five assists but also three turnovers in 21 minutes. Kobe sounded positive afterwards, as reported by the LA Times Mike Bresnahan.
And the Lakers fans in San Diego were into it — Kobe got MVP chants by the third quarter (surprised it took them that long).
Let’s be clear, it’s an NBA preseason game, it has less meaning than your high school algebra class. You can’t read too much into this one outing, no more than one should read into Kobe air-balling his first shot of the night. Nobody is exactly sharp or intense in these games.
But Kobe’s comeback had to start somewhere, this is a good place and a good first step.
Along those same lines, Steve Nash moved well and made plays also. He finished with 11 points and five assists. Of course, with him the real question is how they feel the next day, but like Kobe he has to start somewhere.