Scott optimistic over both Bryant and Nash ahead of the new NBA season…
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Kupchak not worried about Kobe Bryant: Veteran guard set to make highly anticipated return from injury.
Scott may sit Bryant: Lakers coach may manage his minutes this season.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has revealed that he felt good after his first practice of training camp as he returns for a significant absence due to injury.
The 36-year-old was restricted to playing in just six games last season as he suffered a fractured knee, and that followed on from making his comeback from a ruptured Achilles tendon the season before.
Despite the injury setbacks, Bryant penned a new two-year deal during his spell on the sidelines and will be expected to play a significant role for the team this season along with point guard Steve Nash.
Nash also suffered with injury problems last year as he featured in just 15 games, but Lakers coach Byron Scott revealed that he was happy with the pair during the first practice of training camp.
“I felt normal. I felt like myself,” Bryant said. “That’s a good thing.”
Bryant practiced for the first two hours and 15 minutes of the three-hour practice before sitting out the final 45 minutes along with Nash who practiced for the first 90 minutes.
Both are expected to have their minutes monitored throughout camp and during the season, but Scott is optimistic that they will play vital roles.
“Kobe looked good,” Scott said.
“The first drill, the 10 minutes you could see the guys were in shape. Kobe looked good. Steve was in great shape. Both of those guys did about three-fourths of the practice. I basically had to ask Kobe to shut it down. We got another one tomorrow. He went through one more drill and then shut it down. He felt he felt great and could have done more but right now it’s a progression of just going a little bit today.”
Bryant conceded that he doesn’t remember running so much in a practice as Scott places emphasis on defense, while he also revealed that it will take time to get to know the personalities of his team-mates.
No one is left from Bryant’s last championship winning team in 2010 after Pau Gasol left for the Chicago Bulls this summer, and so given the general youthful look of the roster, he admits that training camp will be key in order to get to know them both on and off the court.