The Los Angeles Lakers are in Day 2 of training camp, and this time they did more than conditioning drills. The Lakers scrimmaged against eachother, finally giving us a chance to see Kobe Bryant in action for the first time since fracturing his knee.
Kobe didn't disappoint, hitting this vintage turnaround jumper on rookie Jordan Clarkson:
From the looks of things he was giving Clarkson the business, running him off ball and draining a mid-range jumper from the top of the key in this next shot from the Lakers' first "official" scrimmage as a team:
The good news -- besides Kobe being alive and well, course -- is Clarkson is using this as a learning opportunity on the defensive end instead of letting it discourage him, or just moving along with his business:
Clarkson just pulled Kobe aside - asking for what looked like defensive advice in post - Kobe spent a few minutes showing the rookie— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) October 1, 2014
So, yes, Kobe Bryant is doing just fine after essentially missing an entire season of basketball. That's been the "burning" question as he returns for his 19th season in the NBA, but he's not using his health as a crutch at all. In fact, he's tired of talking about it:
Kobe already tired of being asked about his health, chided reporters for repetitive questions. Said "I'm fine" probably half a dozen times.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) October 1, 2014
From the looks of things he looks ready to get back to basketball after his biggest break from the sport he loves in his career. Kobe will be playing in all eight of the Lakers' preseason games, which tips off on Oct. 6 in San Diego. He won't be participating in the second practice of the day for the Lakers, as expected, however.
It's not enough to say Kobe's all the way back, but he looked sharp in the limited glimpses allowed from a scrimmage, so that's a good sign. The first portion of Day 2 is in the books, and the biggest story out of El Segundo is a nice glass of vintage Vino.