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Los Angeles Lakers team president and part-owner Jeanie Buss has insisted that she is “not worried” about Kobe Bryant making his comeback this season.
Despite the acquisitions of Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer, Bryant will likely be a fundamental part of how far the Lakers can go this year, but after playing in just six games last season, it remains to be seen how effective he can be.
Bryant concedes that he isn’t as athletic as he used to be while new Coach Byron Scott has previously revealed that he will manage his minutes better this season in order to avoid his star man suffering any further injury problems.
However, Buss is confident that Bryant will still be capable of having a significant influence on the team this season in order to help them overcome the disappointment of last year.
“Phil told me when Kobe got hurt, he said ‘Jeanie it’s gonna take a year, but he will come back.’ And I know Kobe. He put a lot of pressure on himself to help the team out last season,” Buss said, as reported by Lakers Nation.
“He came back after six months, but now I know he’s healed, and he’s ready to play, so I’m really not worried about him coming back and contributing.”
Provided that his injury problems are firmly behind him, Bryant will be a consistent scorer for the Lakers this season, but it may well take a better all-round effort from the entire roster to ensure that they can compete in a highly competitive Western Conference.
Scott will likely refrain from playing him on back-to-backs, although much will depend on the situation and whether or not the Lakers are still playing for something near the end of the campaign.