In a failed attempt to discuss something other than his health, a reporter at the Lakers’ second day of practice asked Kobe Bryant about the Kevin Love trade to Cleveland.
“Great trade for them? I don’t know,” he replied. “You guys are killing me, man. You guys are rusty.”
Bryant chiding the media for needing to get on their game was a turning of the tables from the ten minutes of questions he had to answer regarding his age, health, and how his body felt after two days of practice.
“I am what I am right now. I don’t know how to best say that, but I’m me,” he said, in that familiar Kobe monotonous tone.
Bryant primarily attacked from the post, something his predecessor Michael Jordan did in the final years of his career. It will remain to be seen if Coach Byron Scott will have him operating from that spot on the floor come the regular season.
“Kobe did great,” said Scott. “You could tell he was getting his legs under him, his wind is good, the rust is starting to come off.
One of the greatest challenges for an aging player who is returning from injury is the mental aspect, and having to acknowledge the physical shortcomings that accompany time. Bryant seems poised to work within his new limitations.
“There would be certain guys who when I was younger I could beat with quickness and now probably not,” he said. “You make those adjustments kind of from game to game. It depends on who you’re matching up with.”