Full Court Press: The Black Mamba's Return

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Throw a dart at the wall: What game will Kobe Bryant make his return, how will his first points be scored, and what’s his total points on his first game?

Feb 28, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) dunks past Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Chris Johnson (20) in the first half of the game at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Valerie Morales (@val_82games) – Kobe usually rises about the myth. The hero who has conquered his own fragility is now the hero conquering the doubters. What better way than to face the team that was witness to the worst moment of his career, the Golden State Warriors. As appealing as it sounds and as theatrical as it would be, I don’t think Kobe will be ready against Golden State on Friday. I think he is going to need a little bit more practice time, specifically the tough practices with contact in which to feel confidence in the foot and ankle.  I think the perfect game for Kobe to return is Wednesday, November 27th, which is the second game on an east coast road trip. Brooklyn is the back end of back to back. New York is made for stars and what better way to remind the NBA he still is one of their most willful competitors than in Brooklyn where last year he sent the crowd screaming in the streets when he dunked over Gerald Wallace. In this game he would face Pierce and Garnett, his old Boston foes as he begins his personal quest to defy age and logic, to stick it to his critics, and to further demoralize the struggling Celtics…um…Nets. Kobe is addicted to video and he has watched the Laker offense backwards and forwards. He knows the D’Antoni system is constructed so there is a lot of space in the mid post for him to use his footwork in order to get off his traditional jab step or fade away.


Brian Booth (@bbooth248) - Given that Kobe just this weekend returned to practice, he will likely need at least a couple weeks to return to form,  and get his legs back under him. So barring any setbacks, I’ll say Sunday, December 8, vs. Toronto we will see Kobe make his return to game action. I predict he will post up his defender for his first basket, and finish the game with 16 points.


Colin Lopez (@colinRlopez) - I’ve been under the impression Kobe would return around Thanksgiving, and with word coming out that Kobe has returned to practice, that’s looks like a pretty decent bet. With the Lakers on a road trip at that time I say Kobe returns on 12/1 at home against the Trailblazers.


Mike Garcia (@CanyonDriver)December 8.  I think it’s too early.  Honestly I’d rather have him back January 3rd.  First points will be scored at the free throw line, after attacking the basket on an iso play on the left wing.  Total points?  16.  Don’t expect huge minutes early.


Fern Rea (@fullcourtfern) - With Kobe returning to practice on Saturday we are in a better position to predict the day of his return. I believe Kobe is aiming a return for that Christmas game against the Miami Heat, but he’ll want to be in full swing in front of the massive national audience. He’ll get 10 games under his belt prior to taking on LeBron and almost 3 weeks of practice time by returning on December 6 against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento.


Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) - In a perfect and poetically justified world, Bryant would return on Friday to face the Warriors on the same court against the same team that he injured himself. But the world isn’t poetically justified. And Bryant isn’t that dumb to rush it at this point. D’Antoni said Bryant is still going to miss a bunch of games, so that would put his return around Thanksgiving. However, I’m not sure he’d make the road trip with the team and return then, so I’ll say he comes back December 1st, against Portland. He’ll open the scoring in the game with a jumper at the elbow en route to 20 points on the night.

Check out the Lakers schedule from Barrystickets.com and guess which game you think Kobe will return to the lineup.

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