Culver City Observer -

Kobe Will Rehabilitate, Try To Play Again

‘I Want To See If I Can Do It’

 

February 12, 2015



By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

Before Kobe Bryant can play his 20th season with the Lakers he’ll have to rehabilitate from his current torn rotator cuff.

Doctors regard it as a nine-month process, with an excellent chance he’ll be healed.

Even though an injury has cut short Kobe’s season for a third straight year he has a reason to be optimistic about being able to play in the 2015-’16 NBA season.

It’s a painful injury that requires a long rehabilitation but the recovery rate is high.

The risk is considered far less than the Achilles injury, for example.

‘I want to find out if I can do it,” Kobe said. “I went through a nine-month rehabilitation with my Achilles injury. When I was told this would be another nine months I said oh, no. But then I realized I want to play again.

“I don’t want my career to end the way it’s going now without being in the playoffs again.”

The Lakers lost four straight games to the San Antonio Spurs in the first playoff round three seasons ago. They didn’t qualify for the playoffs last season and won’t again this season.

For a guy who begins every season with a championship in mind, this is not an acceptable way to end his playing career.

It isn’t known if the Lakers can do much better next season, but if Kobe is healthy and the team can add a quality free agent or two and acquire an outstanding player in the draft the chances would improve.

Kobe will help with the recruiting of free agents. He had breakfast in Boston with Rajon Rondo this season when the Lakers were there to play the Celtics. Rondo will be a free agent this summer.

Soon thereafter the Celtics traded Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks, but that applies only to this season. Rondo will then become eligible to sign with every team.

Asked if Kobe will do more recruiting for the Lakers Coach Byron Scott replied ‘he’d better be.”

Scott believes Kobe will be a major asset to the team again next season on the court.

“He has a lot left in the tank,” said Scott. “He’s still one of the best players in the league. And the more the media says he can’t do it he gets more and more motivated to show he can.”

Carmelo Anthony agrees that Kobe isn’t through.

“It kills me to see Kobe going through another injury at this time in his career,” said the New York Knicks’star. “But I’m pretty sure he’ll do everything possible to get back on the court. That’s the way he is.”

Bryant is a 17-time all star and the third leading scorer in NBNA history. He finished second in fan voting for the upcoming all-star game but won’t be able to play because of his injury.

Kobe has played on five championship teams. He’ll try to become the only player in NBA history to play 20 years with the same team although two players had 21-year careers but not with the same team --

Robert Parish and Kevin Willis.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played 20 years but not all with the Lakers.

 

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