THE LORD LINE
LOS ANGELES, November 17 – The Los Angeles Lakers are relevant once again and may soon welcome back one of the greatest players in franchise history. Kobe Bryant has started telling close friends and business associates that he is in fact contemplating a return to the NBA. According to sources the 18-time All-Star and 5-time NBA champion has been training at the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo with the hopes of getting back on the court by Christmas.
When reached for comment the as of now retired Kobe would not rule out a return to professional basketball saying only that “right now my primary focus is on venture capital. My workout routine with the Lakers is nothing more than good therapy. Could I still dominate at the highest level of basketball? Absolutely. But at this point in my life is playing a game as exciting as investing in something like drone delivery for pharmaceuticals? Time will tell.”
When Bryant’s intentions became clearer, Lakers’ head coach Luke Walton started tinkering with the team offense to better suite the needs of the 38 year old former superstar by moving away from the free flowing, constant ball movement style he adopted from his time with the Golden State Warriors, a system that so far this season has shown great promise in Los Angeles, to something much more isolation friendly and familiar to Kobe back when he averaged well over 20 field goal attempts per game.
“You can’t allow an NBA defense to settle in,” said the first year head coach. “It’s all about multiple looks and regardless of Kobe’s status the players on this roster need to get use to taking the air out of the ball and slowing things down a little bit.”
D’Angelo Russell, the starting point guard, leading scoring and perhaps greatest beneficiary of a Kobe free locker room, was not made available for comment after a recent practice but did show up on the team’s latest injury report as ‘questionable’ for the Lakers next game vs the San Antonio Spurs with what team doctors are referring to as a case of ‘mild sadness’.
Word out of Eugene, Oregon is that Nike hopes to capitalize on Bryant’s potential return to the NBA with a new signature Kobe shoe made with actual black mamba venom.