Apply to Become a Sidelines Contributor

Sidelines is an exclusive community of sports contributors whose opinions and commentary reach millions of fans. Learn More

Kobe Bryant Returns to the NBA...and Faces Expectations

  • Posted in the NBA community
  • Appears on Sidelines Blog
  • Dean Lake Lvl 7

    Blog post by Matt Silverston

    When Kobe Bryant makes his 2013 NBA debut, he will not be the same player.

    The funny thing is, isn’t that normally the case?

    Isn’t he routinely entering each season with an evolved offensive arsenal?

    Doesn’t he obsessively refine and adapt his game every year?

    Undoubtedly, Bryant will need to adapt to certain handicaps resulting from the Achilles’ injury fall out and chances are he’ll adapt well.

    The question is: Will he have any limitations, and if so, how extreme will they be?

    Is he still the same Kobe Bryant that can put the Lakers on his back and lead them to the Promised Land?

    What is his ceiling and what are realistic expectations for his return?

  • Eric Yates Lvl 4

    Good post @Dean Lake. The Lakers have the perfect model of how they should handle Kobe with how the Spurs use Manu Ginobili. Start him out playing about 20-25 minutes a game, let him play crunch time minutes, and let him get into game shape and get confident in his explosiveness again before upping his minutes.

  • Lucas Justice Lvl 3

    Agreed. No need to rush him back into big minutes. Ask the Washington professional football team how that worked out.

  • Abel Tovar Lvl 4

    Expectations depend on who you're asking. If you're asking Kobe, then I'm sure he expects nothing less out of himself other than to dominate the league, average 25+ per game, lead this team to the Finals, dominate defensively and continue to uphold his self image of basically being Jesus in a Laker jersey. No miracle is too great for the Mamba. I HOPE he takes comes in with the mind set of being a contributor but I doubt that will happen. His alpha instinct will begin to take over more and more especially in close games.

  • M.E. Silverston Lvl 4

    @Abel Tovar he seems to be much more team-oriented these days. Just the other day, he was working out with the Lakers' second squad to help get them ready and he's been coaching almost everyday in practice. He just wants to win, and I think by now he knows he can't do it alone.

  • Abel Tovar Lvl 4

    @Matt Silverston, I agree. The players on the court NOW are more team oriented. Kobe is not. I would love to believe that he had changed his ways and was all about winning and not himself...but then he screwed the Lakers with his contract. That alone shows me he's more about himself than ever and I'm scared he's going to ruin the chemistry for this team. And this is coming from a DIE HARD Laker fan.

  • M.E. Silverston Lvl 4

    @Abel Tovar As a businessman, Kobe is going to ask for as much money as he can get and he knew the Lakers were the only team willing to pay him generously. Just because he went after the cash doesn't mean he's not more team oriented. It just means he's human because everyone wants to make the most money they can make. Did you expect him to argue against a huge contract? That's like expecting Carmelo Anthony to ask for less cash during free agency because his Knicks were a bust. That contract was a smart business move by Bryant, not a selfish transaction deliberately intended to jeopardize the Lakers' future.

  • Kyriakos Spanoudes Lvl 3

    Enjoy every extra moment of Kobe. Tendon injuries are devious.