LA Lakers Fans Shouldn’t Panic About Kobe Bryant Slowing Down Rehab Plan

After a frantic start to his rehab, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has started to ease off the accelerator. He's cut back his workload and limited his activity.

Downshifting this close to the start of the regular season might seem bad, but it's not. The Lakers have more pressing concerns than trotting Bryant out for opening night.

Seeing Bryant out of action might feel like a worst-case scenario for the Lakers, but they plunged beneath that realm a while ago.

The star-studded quartet of Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard built for an NBA Finals run last season needed a last-minute sprint just to qualify for postseason play. The roster has since been gutted (goodbye Howard, Earl Clark, Antawn Jamison and Metta World Peace; hello Chris Kaman, Nick Young, Shawne Williams and Xavier Henry) and expectations have plummeted.

None of this has gotten past the former MVP shooting guard. Still working his way back from the torn Achilles that ended his 2012-13 season, Bryant has watched the talent exodus and witnessed all of the criticisms.

His blood always runs hot, but it's been searing of late. For someone who played with a chip on his shoulder even while building a massive hardware collection, the perceived absence of hope has no doubt fueled his fire:

When the Lakers traveled to China earlier this month—roughly six months after he suffered the injury—Bryant showed off the effects of his furious rehab. He was out on the hardwood, firing up shots and running end to end during pregame warmups.

Since arriving back stateside, though, the Mamba has slowed his pace, per Mark Medina of Los Angeles Daily News:

For as much as he'd like to start proving his critics wrong, he understands this is a marathon and not a sprint:

Although the talent simply isn't in place for anything more than a brief po...

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