Since the season ended, Kobe Bryant has remained relatively quiet, mainly using his Twitter and Instagram to update fans on his recovery from surgery and his rehab.
On Wednesday, Bryant joined Mason and Ireland on ESPNLA710 to talk about his off-season so far. The first topic of discussion was his rehab and recovery. “I’ve been rehabbing for about a month, almost a month and a half,” Bryant said. “At the beginning stages, it’s really boring stuff. Just trying to break up the scar tissue, make sure your toes are working.”
“Now, we’re starting to do some more things. Doing some strength work. I think it’s gonna be fine. I’m very pleased with where I’m at. I can get up in the morning and walk to the bathroom like nothing was wrong. There was a point there where you’d get up and it’d be really stiff. Now it feels fine, it actually feels better than before I got hurt”
When asked about when he’s expecting to be back, Bryant shed some light on the matter. “I’m shooting November or December latest,” said Bryant. “I’m really really determined to get there. As soon as they take “the Governor” off and I can do heavy weights and conditioning, then it’s on me. I wont have any fear about it rupturing. If it tears, it tears. But, once I can go, it’s on.”
The obvious next subject was discussing Dwight Howard’s free agency. Bryant said he’d talked to Howard “a couple weeks ago just to check in with him” but hadn’t spoken to him since. Bryant reiterated that he’d talk with Howard in the future after he takes all his visits.
“It’s not like you have guys like Dwight Howard just walking around every day,” Bryant said. “Those guys are hard to find. When you have somebody like that with his talent level, you have to be able to keep him and lock him in with this franchise. With the history this franchise has with great centers, there’s no better place for him.”
When asked about his own decision following the 2004 season, Bryant told Mason and Ireland that he “bet on Dr. Buss being able to do what he said he could” and said he’d be “a fool” if he had signed anywhere else.
It wasn’t all serious for Bryant, however. The Black Mamba was asked who his starting five would comprise of. “Magic, Jordan, Bird, Russell, Jabbar. It’s not hard for me at all. As the year’s go on, people really forget how good Larry Bird was. He was ridiculous. I grew up like everyone else here hating his guts, but the dude was money.”
Lastly, Bryant was asked about last night’s memorable Game 6 and how perceptions of athletes change on a game-to-game basis. “I watched the last 3 minutes of the game last night and overtime,” Bryant said. “The most fun was Game 7 vs. Boston. I mean you’re looking a lion in the fact. That’s gut check time. That’s probably the best feeling.
“Whoever wins the championship, they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s whatever that moment dictates. When we all retire, hopefully everybody will be able to look back at all of our careers and see what we’ve all done for the game.”
And as to who would win Game 7? “I think San Antonio has to be careful of Wade exploding and going off. This is a game tailor made for him to erupt. If they monitor that, I think they’ll have enough