Lakers News: Kobe Bryant Wise Not to Proclaim Readiness for Season Opener

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant is known for his unquenchable competitiveness, but even he is being realistic about his return from offseason surgery and rehabilitation on his torn Achilles tendon.

Bryant did an hour-long interview with Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday night. Among the topics of discussion were the Lakers' prospects for next season, the new additions GM Mitch Kupchak brought to the roster and where Bryant stands in terms of his recovery.

But a key point in the dialogue was when the 34-year-old Bryant, who is set to enter his 18th NBA campaign, acknowledged that he may not be ready for the regular season opener on Oct. 29.

The prognosis remains ever-optimistic though, as reported by's Alex Kennedy:

Temptations for Bryant to play will likely increase as the date gets closer, especially since the contest in the Staples Center pits the Lakers against the cross-town rival Clippers.

After all, one of the many notable quotes Bryant provided went as follows: "People just don't understand how obsessed I am with winning."

At one point, Kimmel discussed the number of minutes Bryant played last season and asked whether he would consider playing fewer moving forward. Bryant implied that the moves made by Kupchak were made with that objective in mind, per's Dave McMenamin:

If the ultimate goal is to match Michael Jordan with six NBA titles, it would definitely be in Bryant's best interest to sit on the bench early on rather than rush himself back and try to get the Lakers off to a fast start.

The risk associated with that prospective Herculean effort would outweigh the benefit of nabbing a few early victories. This isn't a situation where head coach Mike D'Antoni will get the ax five games into the season, as Mike Brown did last year. recently released its projections for the...

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