MIAMI – Only in Kobe Bryant‘s world would “85 percent” be a green light to shake off whatever lingering issues there are associated with his sore foot and hit the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers’ season opener against the Dallas Mavericks tonight at Staples Center.
After struggling the better part of the past week with soreness in a strained/bruised right foot, Bryant was in the middle of the action at the Lakers’ shootaround practice this morning. He told reporters that there was an “85 percent” chance (barring any setbacks) that he would suit up against the Mavericks, who will play without their superstar Dirk Nowitzki (recovering from knee surgery).
The idea of Bryant missing out on the season opener for this new era the Lakers are embarking upon, with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the fold, is a ridiculous one. One of the most competitive players the league has ever seen, Bryant surely used the seven straight days of practice inactivity to get up to the 85 percent he mentioned earlier today.
Bryant and the Lakers will close the show tonight on TNT as the second half of a season-opening doubleheader. The Heat will raise their 2012 championship banner and host the Boston Celtics in the opener at 8 p.m. ET.