Sports Out West

Lakers legend James worthy has questions about Kobe Bryant’s return

Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images

As Kobe Bryant  progresses along in rehab from his surgery in April that repaired his torn left Achilles, former Lakers great and Hall of Famer James Worthy still has some concerns with the 15-time All-Star, according to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News.

Worthy, who was a three-time NBA champion in his 12-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers and is currently a Time Warner Cable SportsNet analyst, in a recent interview with Medina discussed Bryant’s return this upcoming season and his questions about whether Bryant can adjust his aggressiveness to something more suitable to his health at this stage of his career.

“One of the biggest challenges for Kobe this year is, can he step back?” Worthy said. “He’s been in the league for 17 years, has a lot of miles on the body and has had a lot of injuries. Can he find a game that will allow other guys to flourish?”

Over the past month in several interviews Bryant has voiced uncertainty over his status for the season opener on Oct. 29 against the Los Angeles Clippers and it also has been reported that it is very likely that he will miss the entire eight-game preseason. Although ambiguity surrounds Bryant, who has yet to resume basketball-related activities in his rehabilitation, Worthy still believes that 17-year veteran will come back strong next season.

““Kobe is not a human being,” Worthy said. “He’s an alien. I think he will come back and play well.”

Also in this wide-ranging interview, Worthy discussed his expectations for the Lakers this season, which he believes that the team will finish fifth in the Western Conference behind the Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, and Oklahoma City Thunder. However he did describe the Lakers as a “dangerous team,” but he also does not have much confidence in the team reaching the NBA Finals or the Western Conference finals this upcoming season.

 Photo Credit: Phil McCarten/Invision for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.