Lakers News: Kobe Bryant’s Disappointing Start Is No Reason to Worry Yet

If you were looking to categorize Kobe Bryant's return on Sunday, the only proper term—at least one we can print at a family publication—is "event."

From the moment Bryant entered Staples Center to the moment the clock struck zero on the 106-94 Toronto victory, everything was rife with Hollywood excess. Fans were subjected to a spectacle appropriate only for the Second Coming—and to some in attendance it felt just that way. There was the video montage. The raucous, Beatles-like reaction when he came out for warm-ups. And, finally, the inferno-featuring introduction.

First, an admission: I have never seen a Star Wars movie. Space, weird creature things that talk in gibberish sentences and science fiction just aren't my bags. But when "The Imperial March" started playing from the speakers, it was hard not to get lost in the moment. We weren't watching a basketball game between two thoroughly mediocre (at best) teams; we were watching an event. One no different from the Grammys, Oscars or MTV Video Music Awards.

Here's the thing about events, though: They tend to be scrutinized and picked apart like your average episode of Mad Men. Every slow step will be noted. Every shot will be Vined, tweeted and thrown on social media. Every turnover will be mocked. Every everything will be everywhere. 

It's unfortunate, then, that Bryant's return often felt like it was being hosted by Anne Hathaway and James Franco.

The event before the game was replaced with a sense of quiet awkwardness. Bryant finished with just nine points in 28 minutes, going 2-of-9 from the field. His biggest highlights of the night involved some nifty passes, though those even had diminishing returns, as Bryant had a game-high eight turnovers. Kobe had eight rebounds—I joked on Twitter that his highlight reel would only have rebounds—but the whole thing felt like a...

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