x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Bryant is talking from sideline but are LA Lakers listening?

If anyone thought this latest setback in the long effort to fully heal his knee would bring the 16-time All-Star down, he made sure to get the message across loud and clear that it will not, writes Jonathan Raymond.

If anyone thought this latest setback in the long effort to fully heal his knee would bring the 16-time All-Star down, he made sure to get the message across loud and clear that it will not. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
If anyone thought this latest setback in the long effort to fully heal his knee would bring the 16-time All-Star down, he made sure to get the message across loud and clear that it will not. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

A return from Kobe Bryant this season may have been ruled out last week, but he is not going down quietly.

If anyone thought this latest setback in the long effort to fully heal his knee would bring the 16-time All-Star down, he made sure to get the message across loud and clear that it will not. Bryant, rather, is as feisty as ever.

Can he accept the status quo in Los Angeles watching from the sidelines?

“I feel like killing everybody every time I go to the arena. I’m just on edge all the time,” he told the lakersnation.com website.

Does he demand a sea change when he returns next year?

“Oh yeah, let’s just play again next year and let’s just suck again. No. Absolutely not. Absolutely not,” he told ESPN Los Angeles. Seasons like this, where Los Angeles are 22-44 and tied for dead last in the Western Conference, have been rare for the Lakers in Bryant’s 18 years in the NBA.

Mostly because seasons like this, in which Bryant has played just six games, are basically unprecedented.

Bryant has been adamant that he will return to play elite basketball and that the Lakers will do likewise.

It might be a little hard to imagine right now. But Bryant has become one of the league’s most entertainingly frank players in his twilight years. Basketball fans should hope he makes good on those promises, if only to hear him talk a little while longer.

jraymond@thenational.ae

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