Since returning to practice, Kobe Bryant’s return has been ever more speculated. Wishful, optimistic fans hoped he’d make the miraculous return Friday against the Warriors, fulfilling some sort of poetic justice.
Unfortunately for them and Lakers fans across the globe, Bryant won’t be back this weekend. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Bryant has been ruled out by Mike D’Antoni for Friday’s contest. On top of that, league sources say that Bryant has been ruled out for a return Sunday against Sacramento.
Bryant and D’Antoni have echoed one another with the sentiment that Bryant would need time before returning to live action. With an offense that is different than last year and the need to return to prime physical shape, Bryant has a lot on his plate before being game-ready. With a three-game East Coast road trip next week, Bryant’s return may be delayed until the team’s return home against Portland on December 1.
That isn’t too say that Bryant couldn’t return during that road trip. With a game against Brooklyn in the cards, Bryant could make a high-profile return on one of the biggest stages. We all know how Bryant’s last game in Brooklyn went, with him iconically slamming home past Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez.
What is certain is that Bryant’s return will be much quicker than anyone predicted seven months ago. For that, Lakers fans would be thankful.