Early Xmas: Could Kobe Be Back Friday?

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VIDEO: Kobe Bryant talks about his injury comeback

About those fancy wrapped boxes with the pretty ribbons sitting under the tree.

We can all guess that an impatient little kid named Kobe Bryant never paid one bit of attention to those tags that read: Do Not Open ’Til Christmas.

So why should anybody be surprised that Black Mamba Claus might not wait for the long-suspected Dec. 25 national TV showdown against LeBron James and the Heat to come down the chimney for his official return to the court?

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com the countdown clock for Bryant to make his 2013-14 debut has just speeded up. That’s because Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni says it’s possible that Bryant could be in the lineup to face the Kings Friday night in Sacramento.

“I don’t want to anticipate anything,” D’Antoni said after practice Saturday. “Those are days that he can work and see, re-evaluate how he feels after the three days and then make a decision going forward.

“That doesn’t mean he will play Friday, doesn’t mean he won’t. But that’s the time you just evaluate, and I can’t tell you what type of evaluation that will be.”

But it does mean that Bryant’s recovery from the torn Achilles’ tendon suffered on April 12 could be moving at least slightly ahead of schedule. When the team announced his new two-year, $48.5 million contract extension on Monday, Bryant said that he was still “probably weeks” away from suiting up for the Lakers.

The Lakers held a light workout on Saturday and Bryant took part in all of the drills. After playing the Trail Blazers at home on Sunday night, the team is off until traveling to Sacramento on Friday. How fitting that Bryant could return against the Kings, who now have his old teammate/sparring partner Shaquille O’Neal as a minority owner.

“He’ll be listed pretty soon as ‘day to day,’ ” D’Antoni said. “And everybody knows that’s the way it is. When he’s ready to roll, he’ll go.

“We’ll have three days of practice, and then we’ll know better. We’ll have a better idea.”

86 Comments

  1. John Robertson says:

    When money comes back the Lakers will be damm good my make a run and surprise some folks

  2. Axel says:

    There can be no doubt that Kobe is a well spoken and smart guy. Who knows, only having to play half a season might keep him in great shape throughout the complete season. But of course it is hard to imagine even with Kobe on the floor for them to beat OKC, SAS in the West or the HEAT, PACERS. With Portland being the surprise package so far and not sure how much they can sustain this form and high for the rest of the season…

  3. @jcash1980 says:

    the lakers will b very dangerous when he gets back from fast pace to slow pace.if the coach wants to speed the game up he will put in meeks if he wants slow more defense he will go with kobe.

  4. steven says:

    i think kobe is ready. please kobe go in share the ball i can’t wait to see kobe come

  5. hyderlaker says:

    finally kobe is here!!! if he is here then, now you can see the real lakers.

    but i hope he is 100 percent ready because he could get another injury like derrick rose.

  6. Ecommerce Software Reviews says:

    Kobe will be back and win his next ring…come on

  7. Cripple Rapist says:

    If kobe returns… lakers will be back on their own selves… chemistry will disrupt, Guys like Henry Young won’t be having a great game, because kobe will take all the attention… He doesn’t want to share the spotlight… expect more time in the bench Henry and Young…. expect for the WORST……….

  8. jfack says:

    come back! for the sake of my fantasy team!

  9. yeab says:

    He’s Kobe period point blank

  10. donut guy says:

    kobe is beast

  11. pau gasol says:

    kobe is like god to us

  12. Lebron james says:

    IF KOBE COMEBACK IM GETTING ON THE BUS!!!!!!!!

  13. kobeballhog says:

    Kobe come back! there can be only one kobe! the nba is lacking the ultimate ballhog now, we need someone who shoots 30-40 a game and makes 30% of it, we need someone who will backstab his teammates, we need someone who will blame everyone except him when the team loses, come back kobe come back.

  14. KALIWALI says:

    Im sure he can do it. START STRONG FINISH STRONG

  15. LAL says:

    The mamba will always be the number 2 of all times (Jordan, of course, being number 1), unless he wins title 6 or even 7!! I like LBJ. I think he is humble and good to some extent, but he is not in the category in which Mamba and Jordan find themselves.

  16. Mike Smith says:

    you need to retire… you are garbage… i hope you get hurt….

  17. ism says:

    Best Voices in NBA History:

    Scottie Pippen
    Rick Fox
    Dikembe Mutombo
    Shaquille O’Neal

    …who did I forget?

  18. James says:

    Yeah. Hope Kobe comes back Friday at 100 percent.

  19. Manny says:

    A die hard Heat fan. Can’t wait for the return of Kobe against the Heat . I believe that the coach is just adding the team to the spotlight by mentioning Kobe

  20. I hope Kobe waits a little longer to return, obviously want to see him back asap but if he plays like 5 games and gets injured? that will probably be his career over

  21. Kenneth says:

    To be very honest, Kobe needs to change team to win a championship. In order to get the 6th to tie Jordan, or get some players in Lakers. Nash, isn’t the guy Lakers need, I am sorry, I respect Nash, he is one of my favorite player in the past, but in current status, Nash isn’t a good players at all.
    Lakers need to face Spurs, Thunders or Warriors in playoffs. Please, think about it. Need to get something better.

  22. Absurd says:

    @Francisco @Kome: Your comments are totally irrelevant. Get your fact straight and stop being stupid. First, Kobe is not a liability for the team. Shaq wouldn’t win those championships without Kobe. Kobe is the leader who took Lakers to win the last 2 championships. It doesn’t matter if he could have won more championships or not, because he already approved. You haters don’t admire the way he plays but that doesn’t change the fact that he is one of the best of all time.

    • Kome the Black Dumba says:

      Leader? 6-24 in game 7? who’s the leader?
      already proven? shaq won as the main man on the first 3 rings.

      And yes, you can call me a hater as I hate criminals. Especially those who gets away with it.

      • Absurd says:

        @Kome: Learn to read man… What I am saying is Shaq wouldn’t win those 3 champs without Kobe! Kobe is the main man on his last 2 rings! 6-24 for one game sitll doesn’t change the fact that he led the Lakers the whole season! You surely don’t know anything about bball…such a waste of time explaining to people like u

      • laker says:

        dude he grabbed 14 rebounds and was like 12-14 free throw line…did u watch game 7..ALWAYS TAKES 2 STARS TO WIN A RING..

      • Kome the Black Dumba says:

        LOL! for one game? That’s game 7! Will a leader choke like that? oh, right. He’s not.
        Remember those air 3S against the Jazz, yea, very very clutch.
        Remember he cannot even make playoffs after shaq left? Oh what’s your excuse now fan boy?

        Hey, let see when Kobe’s back will the Laker’s standing drop. They stand at 9-9 at this moment. I just know the Lakers play team game right now and Kobe WILL make it difficult for them. I predict them to drop a lot! Care to make it interesting? Let’s say paypal?

        If you said Shaq couldn’t won without kobe. Then Kobe couldn’t won without gasol as well. Plus when shaq was the man he wouldn’t choke like kobe. Kobe need MWP and gasol and everyone to help him win game 7. So stop glorify your criminal idol like he won 5 rings by himself.

        I love Lakers fan boys, especially those Kobe ones. Bring it on Y2K babies.

  23. jg says:

    good luck.

  24. jake s. says:

    Terrific. We get to see the Lakers dwindle at .500 again!

  25. LBJKIN6JAMES says:

    Kobe should wait until Christmas, otherwise he could end up like Derrick Rose

  26. LBJ LICKS KB SHOES says:

    Kobe needs 100 points in one game we have to see it. He needs to break all the scoring records play til he wins at least 2 rings so the lakers have the most in NBA history then everyone can complain some more about how much of a ball hog he is.

  27. MICHAEL TIMOTHY says:

    CANT WAIT FOR YOUR RETURN KOBE, GO L.A.L , JUST DONT GO TOO HARD ONE TIME , GIVE IT SOME PLAY TIME TO GET IT DIALED IN , AND BRO WEAR HIGH TOPS………..

  28. g baby says:

    Let’s go Lakers we all can’t wait till he come back on the floor… let go lakers

    • LAL says:

      MAMBA is the greatest player today, but age limits you, regardless of your ambition or drive. This is the advantage LBJ has over the black mamba. LBJ is not as great as Kobe, but he is much younger and thus more dominant. Lastly, Mamba, you know yourself better than even the doctors could. If you believe that you’re ready, come back. Otherwise, take your time and heal properly. As the body gets older, it is more prone to injury and takes longer to recover from injury. The NBA season starts the very day you step on the floor, bro!!

  29. nic says:

    I hope he does!!!

  30. johnny says:

    I THINK THAT ITS TO EARLY FOR HIM TO RETURN I THINK THE GAME HE SHOULD BE BACK IS THE GAME ON XMAS AGAINST THE MAIMI HEAT I THINK WE HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING TO SEE THE RETURN OF THE BLACK MAMBA N HE WILL BE BACK BEACUSE AFTER ALL HE IS KOBE…. WISH NOTHING BUT THE BEST TO KOBE N THE LA LAKERS A FAN FROM THE BAY ARE LETS GO LAKERS …

    • LAL says:

      I agree. Take your time to heal properly mamba. The season doesn’t start until you return, anyway. You’re not young bro and it takes longer to heal as you get older. You already got your last bread ($48 mills). Take your time to heal bro. We miss you but we want you back damn near 100% or even 100%.

  31. curtis lowery says:

    “HIGH TOPS” “HIGH TOPS” PLEASE WEAR THEM>

  32. lil kobe says:

    he will get six

  33. MJJr says:

    “No one that matters”; I think you’re confusing Kobe with another hoop player who’s initials happen to be L. J.

  34. Paul Friedericks says:

    So now………… The NBA is Back!!!
    Without Kobe……….. everything was boring……..

  35. Boka says:

    I think when Koby will come back the team will play same game like today?…don’t forget Koby great player,but very selfish person,he need record in scoring e.s……….I don,t sink Koby back is good idya and spending amount of money on him 50 mills is stilling future
    of Lakers…

  36. MJJr says:

    There is nothing I’d like to see more than Kobe back in action, but if he isn’t 100% healed yet it would be best if he waited awhile longer and not take the risk of hurting himself even more and having to be out of play for an even longer extended time.

  37. kobe says:

    The lakers can win on christmas without kobe, thats how good they are!!!!!!!!

  38. Francisco says:

    Lakers are over 500 without him, let us see the kobe’s effect. last year was one of his best season , but not for the lakers. as science has shown, he is a great one on one player, but a liability for his team, a show man. The lakers could had won more titles during the kobe era than those five, they had had a less selfish guard

    • MJJr says:

      Only 5 titles during the Kobe era? How many other players can you mention that have won this many titles during their carrier? I’d like to know the name of

      I’d like to know what branch of science you’re referring to and the basis of your theory.

      • Kome the Black Dumba says:

        He meant Kobe could won more than 5 rings IF he didn’t forced shaq out. Of course IF Kobe worked with D12 last year and I think they’ll probably get a ring or 2 as well if they are not injured.

        Forget Science, learn to read first.

      • Francisco says:

        Statistics, a branch of math. Google “is Kobe a closer” and you will find a serious study by ESPN about kobe myth as a closer and his negative effect to the lakers. If you are a fan you probably will ignore those facts.

    • Lol this is clearly an uneducated comment, you say the Lakers will have won more titles in the Kobe erra Hat they had a less selfish guard huh. Well LeBron James is not selfish at all in over his career he only has 2 but nothing never the less he couldn’t win not the one with a normal teen he needed a super team to get those.now the real comment should have been better the Lakers what have one more titles and the Kobe ever had they got him help earlier

      • asdf says:

        typical lebron hater, kobe had allstars on his championship teams aswell, lebron had d league talent in cleveland when he took them to the finals. Lebron is way better now than kobe ever was in his prime. so we will see how many rings he ends up with, Im pretty sure lebron will win 5 -6 rings in his career aswell.

      • Cjgetitright says:

        U sound stupid look that the championship teams Kobe had and the cavs team lebron had. Kobe had a great team lebron didn’t. But lebron put his team on his back and took them to the ship Kobe couldn’t do it when Shaquille O Neal left Kobe couldn’t get in the first round of the playoffs and then he couldn’t get out the first round until they went and got pau gasol.

  39. djMamba says:

    people saying oh Kobe isn’t ready, he’s not going to be effective, who ever thinks that needs to chill out, KOBE is smart and wouldn’t do anything that would hurt his career from this, so he knows when to come back!
    can’t wait for friday!!

  40. Chris says:

    kobe should come back now

  41. Ecommerce Software Reviews says:

    Oh, the Black Mamba returns. Both the Western and Eastern Conference have been warned!

  42. Jimmy Buckets says:

    he is not returning anytime soon…nba needs to get the facts straight

  43. okc2014 says:

    I’m not a Laker fan, so any talk of Kobe returning doesn’t excite me. Just hope that he makes a small entrance (like Lou Williams) and doesn’t over-do it then have to pull back. That would defeat the purpose of his big comeback. The LA Lakers still won’t make any dent in the playoffs. There are just too many competitors, OKC, Suns, Rockets, Clippers, Minnesota, GSW. These teams are already off to a pretty good start. Just about 25% of the regular season is already over; when will Kobe be 100% to take his team to the Promised Land? By All Star time?

  44. daft G says:

    take it slightly and surely, U dont wanna see KB do a D-ROSE COMEBACK BROKEBACK injury

  45. yujun says:

    cant wait to see him up on playing on in the game, I havent seen a live game this season becasue of the absence of Kobe

  46. Dreamfire says:

    Wow Rick Fox is a very good interviewer, i was impressed

    • dan'o says:

      nice to have a million dollar smile to fall back on after a great nba career… I’d say he’s doing well

  47. haah says:

    dont be like rose!!

  48. Viking says:

    I think his return should be at Staples!

  49. No-one that matters cares about him says:

    The Lakers may well have better team chemistry without Bryant. Bryant always thinks everything is all about him and once he gets back on the court he’ll be his usual ballhogging & teammate alienating self.

    • daft G says:

      waddaya care about team chemistry?, a true laker fan wants the team in full force and healthy,
      obviouly youre not, probably heat fan lebron nthugger, ur floppy boy wants spotlight to himself

  50. lebron says:

    nice ill wait you

  51. Karlo Garcia says:

    It will b great news for the NBA IF Kobe can play on Friday. But am also cool if I have to b patient for his return.

  52. James says:

    It isn’t about when he returns. Its about when he becomes 100 percent.

  53. J says:

    Soon, not yet.

  54. Who Cares says:

    Die Hard Spurs Fan here – yeah we had our rivalries. Straight to business you better not take the Brandon Roy route. The league needs you for no less than your true shelf life.

  55. Lakers Fan says:

    I hope when Kobe comes back he’s 100% healthy and ready. Also, I hope he provides leadership, mentoring to the young guns and his usual killer instincts. Fingers crossed he doesn’t disrupt the flow the Lakers established. I’m a bit scared that the ball will be stagnant again once Kobe’s back.

  56. Nam Chio says:

    I look forward to Kobe play this game on Friday with a complete healthy body.
    Cannot wait !!!

  57. Dennis says:

    As much as i would love to see Kobe be back on Friday, i would like to see him rest those achillies at least for another couple of weeks. Nobody (except for the haters, ofcourse) wants to see him pull of a DRose impersonation.

  58. PalmOil Preference says:

    For me as a hoops fan the NBA season has been good. With the early exit of Rose this would be a perfect way to heal that wound.

    Mr. Bean are we going to see facilitator or dominator. Can’t wait to see this unfold. In respects to his teammates you can see the affect Kobe is having on these young boys (Young, Meeks, Henry, Johnson) just from practicing with him. Hopefully it will translate to the court and that’s why if he’s ready put him out there chemistry takes in game time to build.

  59. PalmOil Preference says:

    For me as a hoops fan the NBA season has been good. With the early exit of Rose this would be perfect way to heal that wound.

    Mr. Bean are we going to see facilitator or dominator. Can’t wait to see this unfold. In respects to his teammates you can see the affect Kobe is having on these young boys (Young, Meeks, Henry, Johnson) in practice. Hopefully it will translate to on court and that’s why if he’s ready put him out there chemistry takes in game time together.

  60. Homar says:

    Trust Kobe. If he returns on Friday, is because he feels he can do a good job right away. He is a very fierce competitor, but he is a very proud one, so if he indeed returns this Friday, is because he feels he can take the team in position to win.

  61. FINALS says:

    Kobe should rest a bit more than Friday bu it would be awesome if he is go KOBE!!!!!!!!!!

    • Pakyaw says:

      I think Kobe needs to wear those high tops shoes from now on.. Stop wearing those nike free presto basketball shoes…

  62. Lakersfan says:

    I want Kobe to be with the team playing but I want him to be 100% ready even if it means wait a little longer, But Bryant Has been playing all his career hur, But if he feels ready we will be happy to see him back with the uniform, GO KOBE.