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Kobe Bryant says he's OK with gradual rehabilitation process

Long after practice ended, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant remained on the floor going through a seemingly never-ending routine.

While the media talked with Coach Phil Jackson, partly to talk about Bryant's four-of-28 clip through three exhibition games, Bryant remained on the floor shooting. While the media waited along the sideline to hear the latest on his surgically repaired right knee, Bryant remained on the floor shooting. And while former Laker Rick Fox waited to catch up with his former teammate, Bryant remained on the floor shooting.

Bryant's shooting routine with coach Chuck Person isn't anything new. He normally arrives three to four hours before practice to fit the session in, but he says he saved his routine for after practice Thursday because he wanted to feel energetic enough to play in the team's scrimmage. His focus on wanting to work while blocking everything else around him isn't anything new. That's the Kobe Bryant most people know. His willingness to pace through his rehabilitation process is new, however, considering how it doesn't always exactly fit his want to push himself to the limit seemingly at all costs.

"I've never been frustrated," Bryant said after practice Thursday in the team's facility in El Segundo. "I understand it's a process. I've been through it before, so it's natural to me."

Bryant has kept an even-keel approach about it since the beginning of training camp, when he outlined his approach: "We're trying to take it step by step and continue to try to progress every day, that's all." But given Bryant's overall tendency in trying to push the envelope and his 25-minute effort last week against FC Barcelona, Jackson stressed that he doesn't need to overdo it. Now it appears the two are in agreement that the focus on his preseason doesn't involve shooting numbers so much as it involves his movement.

"He's playing without being quite ready," Jackson said. "He's trying to get some of it in game situations rather than having the ability to practice and do all the things that build up to that where he's in rhythm and shooting the ball right. We're taking a little bit of a shortcut."

That resulted in Bryant continuing to shoot the ball poorly in the Lakers' 98-95 preseason victory Wednesday over Sacramento, going only two of 10 from the field with seven points. So while Bryant's putting in the extra work after practice to improve that clip, he remains satisfied with how he managed to contribute in hustle points and within the offense, as indicated by his four rebounds and two assists. With his plan to play in both exhibition games this weekend, Bryant doesn't plan to change his gradual approach.

"I hardly play in preseason anyway," said Bryant, though his 16.7 minutes per game average this preseason pales to the 26.6 minutes per game he's averaged in other preseasons. "I'll just do what I normally will do."

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
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RE-POST

After all this LeBron/Heat talk, especially with Kobe chiming in and then dismissing it in favor of a more important issue (his knee), I felt obligated to re-post this:

It's interesting how the natural tendency of NBA fans and the media is to talk about the Miami Heat, while the improved two-time defending champions with incredible story lines entering this season get swept under the rug. As sophisticated fans, we all get it, but is it ONLY in Lakerland that we are amped about the possibility of Kobe Bryant matching MJ's second three-peat? Or Phil Jackson going for his FOURTH three-peat? Or the Lakers tying the Celtics with 17 NBA championships? Or the Lakers embarking on their fourth DYNASTY in the relatively short history of the NBA? So while Phil, Kobe and the Lakers should have the entire basketball world outside of Boston and Miami excited, there is seemingly a collective yawn, INCLUDING the media, with respect to a team, its star player and its head coach, that are on the doorstep of potentially the greatest collection of individual and team accomplishments in modern day professional sports.

@LRob.

Very nice man. I don't like defending Lebron either. That being said saying Lebron melted down due to his last 3 games in Cleveland Cavaliers uniform is absurd and fail logic.

It's like saying Wilt melted down in the playoffs because his production in the playoffs were lower than they were in the regular season.

Oh the horrors. The Machine KOd by LO. Who knows, maybe LO knocked some sense into Sasha.

GreatWesternForum - "Oh the horrors. The Machine KOd by LO. Who knows, maybe LO knocked some sense into Sasha."

To quote Tommy Como: "He ain't pretty no more."

@LRob.

Very nice man. I don't like defending Lebron either. That being said saying Lebron melted down due to his last 3 games in Cleveland Cavaliers uniform is absurd and fail logic.

It's like saying Wilt melted down in the playoffs because his production in the playoffs were lower than they were in the regular season.

Posted by: KB Blitz | October 14, 2010 at 03:58 PM
======

The first meltdown was the result of several things: 1) In 2009, after winning a league leading 66 games and then sweeping two pansies in the playoffs, they finally met an elite team in the ECF and did not not adjust to this level of play quickly enough and lost HCA. 2) Poor coaching and LeBron taking matters into his own hands were a recipe for failure when they went on the road to Amway Arena. 3) Size-wise (particularly the over matched Delonte West) and in the paint, they did not match up well against Orlando in a 7 game series, and 4) Mo Williams stinks.

I believe the second meltdown occurred because: 1) LeBron's elbow was injured a lot more than he led on; 2) his knew he was leaving Cleveland and psychologically melted down so as to not confuse his "decision"; 3) the Celtics were a more talented, championship tested team especially with KG back and Rondo having elevated his game. The disparity between the Rondo-Mo Williams match up was glaring. 3) Doc Rivers is a far superior playoff coach, and 4) Mo Williams stinks.

I don't believe that LeBron should shoulder all the blame, although I do understand and agree that he hasn't developed that killer instinct that Kobe, Michael, Bird and Magic possess(ed).

With respect to Wilt, it is easy to say that he melted down in the playoffs simply because his playoff numbers were lower. There is some truth to that because I witnessed Wilt's game suffer in the playoffs more out of frustration than anything else (much like LeBron) because he usually had the misfortune of coming up against far superior teams. Another reason was that during the regular season, he faced Bill Russell only a certain percentage of the time and, other than the possible exception of Nate Thurmond, no other center could defend him. However, while I have performed a statistical analysis on this, more often than not he faced Russell in the playoffs, so it is logical that his loftier numbers would come down a notch. That is not to take anything away from Wilt; it's a tremendous compliment to arguably the best defensive center in the history of basketball, Bill Russell.

KobeMVP888 - and don't forget, in regards to Wilt as well: "Mo Williams stinks."

Like I said in my previous response now is the time to start shopping KB. Look I have been a laker fan for decades and i know when a player is heading on the down-slope and when he is not. Look lets face it his body is worn down. It will be tough for this kid to get back to his last year standard. And if you look at what his stats where the last 3 years you will painfully see what i am talking about.

63 Footer: "KobeMVP888 - and don't forget, in regards to Wilt as well: "Mo Williams stinks."
-
LMAO!!!!!


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Re-Post:


@CCX - Maybe I didn't state my opinion as well as I should have.

Lebron is to Kobe as Jordan is to Magic. Best of one generation and his likely successor.

I know Magic Johnson. Magic Johnson made me love this game everyone on this blog is so passionate about.

And LBJ is certainly no Magic. It's only the moronic press (ESPN) that like to make that comparison.

KobeMVP888 - and don't forget, in regards to Wilt as well: "Mo Williams stinks."

Posted by: 63 Footer | October 14, 2010 at 04:48 PM
=====

Why state the obvious? LMAO!

Man, we be cooking here, mon!


In-ter-esting posts regarding all things NBA past, present and future. My opinion on Magic is he was never the fastest guy on the court, but he was the smartest. Same with Larry Bird. Neither was uber-athletic, with Bird finishing second to Magic in that catagory, but both had amazing footwork, put in extra hours of practice, in Magic's case he lived very healthily (no booze, but Bird was a beer man)

KobeMVP88 - um, what do you really think of Mo Williams?

KobeMVP888: I agree with you regarding Wilt. Russell was the consummate team player, and a great defensive center - but he had a lot of help. The Celtics were a juggernaut back then, far outspending other teams and accumulating a wealth of talent in a 9-team league - and maintaining a stacked roster throughout the '60s. As the league added teams, they were no match against the C's - as far as spending or talent.

From what I understand of their battles, Russell slowed Wilt down enough to let the C's win. Wish there were more footage available of those epic games.

Besides, Mo Williams stinks.

LOL couldn't help but throw that in there =)

BTW I just wonder if lebron's mom had anything to do with Mo's groin pull at the start of Cav's camp... ;)


GO LAKERS!!!!!

OOps, hit the post button on accident.


To continue, Magic's athleticism declined considerably when he blew out his knee (remember surgeries were far less successful and there was no way you would ever regain the explosiveness you previously enjoyed after ACL surgery, not like today), that's when he really buckled down and started practiciing his...unique...jump shot. Magic was nowhere near as athletic as the Kevin Johnson's of the NBA, but he had excellent vision, knew his teammates like the back of his hand, and worked harder than everyone else he playd with.


Athleticism CAN be over-rated, especially at the PG position, but as we've seen with the Lakers, a lack of athleticism can be hurtful as well. I think we were all a little nervous about Shannon Brown taking his hops to some other team. Not that would make or break us, but because after him, Lamar Odom is our most athletic player that can be counted on to play big minutes. Nobody in our front court is as atheltic as Shannon Brown (sorry, Kobe).


I argue, often, that Luke Walton's lack of athleticism is not as hurtful to the team as some believe. He has a good notion of where to position his body, how to use his strength and leverage very effectively, and on a team of scorers, his past first mentality is a must. Especially when Farmar was 'supposed' to be our floor leader, having a Luke Walton to get the ball into the post or help direct the other players on the court was invaluable. We'll see how he fits in with this team once he gets healthy.


QUERY: What are we all going to do if the Heat shoots the moon this season? By shooting the moon I mean running the table. By running the table I mean what if they simply dominate everyone and we're all like...oh...they ARE that good!


Opinions?

Jamie,

Sorry, there'll be no shooting of the moon. The 1st loss will be on opening night against Boston. I expect the Heat to lose between 15 and 25 games over the season. Mid-April 2011 should tell the story.

Lakernut,

How 'bout we trade you instead. LOL! Seriously.
Knee surgery and he's done huh? Well let's see what happens once he's completely healthy. For now I'm sticking with Kobe. From where I sit, even in preseason the team plays better/more cohesively when he's on the floor.

Hey Laker-holics, hope everyone is doing well. It appears the banter and debate is as lively as ever. Would expect nothing less.

Before I join the Kobe-LeBron fray, let me point out that Mark Medina was lauded in our monthly in-house web report for his continuing growth of the Lakers blog, and in particular he drew kudos for interacting with the readers. I say bravo to MM and thanks to each of you for helping make this one of our strongest blog communities at The Times.

Now, let me point out a couple of things that Kobe and LeBron have in common: First, they've BOTH quit on their teammates in the playoffs (oh, yes, I went there, because I don't like revisionist history or selective amnesia when it comes to anybody or anything); Second, neither the Lakers nor the Cavaliers would have had title aspirations without Kobe and LeBron, respectively. I'd even venture to say that the Cavs relied much more heavily on LeBron than the Lakers relied on Kobe, whom all you regulars know I've called the greatest offensive perimeter player I've seen (and I've been following the NBA since the late '60s/early '70s). LeBron often had to hoist that franchise on his broad shoulders and carry them through quarters or games or playoff series. Not that Kobe couldn't do the same, he just never had to shoulder the burden by himself.

And really, with which cast of characters would you rather play for championships? Fisher, Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Ariza, Artest, Brown, Farmar, etc.; or Ilgauskas, Jamison, Varajeo, Mo Williams, the Big Over-the-Hill Nickname, Hickson, Anthony Parker. Wait, argument over. I'm listing Anthony Parker as a championship component. Might as well be Candace Parker.

Who would I rather have on my beloved Blazers? I'd settle for two healthy 7-footers right now. Hah!

Back to work I must go. Take care all.

KobeMVP888 - great post about all the possible (and hopefully achieved) milestones for the Laker organization and players. This is truly the eve of what could be an amazingly historic time. The Miami and Boston stories are the "sexier" ones for the moment. But have patience, as the season progresses and the cream really does start to rise and the league gets into dog days of march and april, the media will turn their attention to the Lakers. It happens every year as the playoffs approach and this year will be no different.

@Lakernut
Maybe we should just shorten that name to "nut". Really?
Kobe is the Lakers. He will retire a Laker. In case you haven't noticed the Lakers are probably the most loyal team in professional sports, you want to be a Laker for life, Dr. Buss will make up a job title and put you on the payroll.
You must be kidding right?

Let the media focus all their attention and expectations on the Heat. Let them deal with all that craziness while we quietly go about the business of getting better and stronger. It's the Lakers so we'll never be completely under the radar, but it does take some pressure off. Isn't that what happened to the Celtics last year? They kind of snuck up on everyone while most of the attention was going elsewhere.


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