Kobe Bryant took part in the first day of his twentieth training camp today, and said "it feels good," to be back in Hawaii (where he participated in his first ever Los Angeles Lakers training camp). Bryant also noted that he has "felt like a local from day one" when asked if he felt like a local after participating in so many training camps on the islands. Bryant told assembled media after practice that the first day of training camp focused on "a lot of conditioning" and that he was "not really" limited physically, but allowed that he and the organization are "being smart" about making sure they are not using up unnecessary wear and tear on his body in practice. To this effect, Bryant will also not be taking part in the one practice on each day the Lakers have two practices scheduled, according to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News. This activity limit also sounds like it will carry over to the preseason:
Kobe said his hope is to play as many exhibitions as possibly but on limited minutes. Number isn't clear— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) September 30, 2015
However, while Kobe did get worked on by the Lakers' training staff to end practice, all of this caution appears to be just preemptive:
Kobe said much of today was conditioning, but he came into camp in shape, said he feels good about where he is physically.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 30, 2015
Bryant also confirmed he did not have to go under the knife this summer:
Kobe said he did not have any procedures this summer. Focus was just on healing shoulder— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) September 30, 2015
Bryant is additionally optimistic that his minutes will not be as taxing as they have been in previous years when he was expected to carry the team:
Kobe doesn't anticipate the minutes that he does play to be "as heavy" as they've been in the past (i.e. wear on his body, etc.)— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) September 30, 2015
And while Bryant sounds like he is feeling like the proverbial "old man in the club"...
Kobe on Lakers' 1st camp in Hawaii since 07: "All my teammates that were here before, they're either retired or coaching. Or on TV."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) September 30, 2015
... He still took time to bond with the Lakers' young guards, D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, after practice concluded, backing up what he said at media day about wanting to mentor the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Kobe praised Russell to the media after getting a chance to play with the rookie in an NBA practice for the first time:
Kobe Bryant on what has impressed him about D'Angelo Russell already: "Great poise...very calm under duress"— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) September 30, 2015
It sounded like the rookie was a bit starstruck:
.@Dloading's 1st practice w/ Kobe: "You try to keep it off your mind like, yo, this guy is not right beside you running the 3-man drill."— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) September 30, 2015
D'Angelo already in awe of Kobe? "I didn't think he was going to go through the whole practice, since it's his first...but he looked good."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) September 30, 2015
All in all, good times and good vibes to start off Lakers training camp.
All transcribed quotes via Time Warner Cable Sportsnet.