Kobe Bryant’s return is going to be the biggest story in the NBA for the foreseeable future (sorry, Rudy Gay). His teammates are inspired by his return, and it seems as if his coach is happy, too:
“I think he will try to facilitate early, just to get into a rhythm,” D’Antoni said. “Again, I just want him to be able to read the situation and make the play.”
“There’ll be a little bit of a sorting out process now, we’ll find out what we need to adjust and he needs to adjust to the team and visa versa and go from there…” D’Antoni said. “Obviously we want to keep our pace the same, but he practiced at that pace with the ball movement and all that.”
“Just be Kobe Bryant, I think that’s good enough…” D’Antoni said. “It might not be today, but down the line, finishing games, controlling games down the fourth quarter, putting us in a position to win games, I think he’s the best at it in the league. Before that he will draw so much attention it should make it easier for other players to score.”
Kobe doesn’t get enough credit for playing in the flow of Mike D’Antoni’s offense last season. He really adapted his game well, and his assists went up as a result. D’Antoni and Kobe have had an odd relationship during last season, but there is definitley respect between them, and D’Antoni knows that Kobe is the man in LA.
The NBA is rejoicing–Kobe Bryant is back.