Kobe Bryant’s Return Scenarios Drastically Alter LA Lakers’ Season

Kobe Bryant will return to the Los Angeles Lakers soon—we think.

An exact timetable still doesn't exist, per Sam Amick of USA Today. Normally, that's troubling. In this case, it's merely puzzling.

The prevailing sentiments coming out of Lakerland suggest that Kobe is ahead of schedule—whatever that means. Opening night—Oct. 29 against the Los Angeles Clippers—has always been the goal, but a definitive date hasn't been set.

Los Angeles needs the sort of clarity only actual answers provide. And if the Lakers have them, neither they nor Kobe is sharing.

Knowing just how long the team will be without Kobe is critical to their success, or lack thereof. They need to know what it is they're dealing with and how long they'll be playing without him, if at all.

Their season depends on it.


The Opening-Night Fiesta

Though I stand by my prediction that Kobe will play on opening night—no one likes an indecisive Ida—the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan writes that it's unlikely:

Why? Because Kobe's too fat at the moment; Kobe's words, not his:

But what if, against all donuts odds, he plays or even starts? Remember, this is Kobe we're talking about. Putting anything past him only reeks of ignorance, because that's what it is.

Coming off a campaign that saw the Lakers underachieve, Kobe clash with Dwight Howard and his Achilles betray him, don't discount his ability to surprise. For all we know, the Lakers could have installed a trapdoor at center court through which Kobe will rise just before tip-off, to the tune of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."

Were this to happen, the end results could be bittersweet. Seeing Kobe take the floor against the Clippers would be refreshing, but only if he's actually ready. What the Lakers don't want is for him to r...

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