Lakers News: LA Should Temper Rampant Optimism About Kobe Bryant’s Recovery

For a team that could very well head to the lottery due to its own futility for just the third time in history, the levels of dopamine seem unusually high at Los Angeles Lakers facilities.

Everything painted out of the halls of Staples Center is coming in purple and gold roses. There are no fears, no trepidation, no overwhelming sense of melancholy one would expect to come eroding like the stench of month-old coffee. The whole place feels eerily Jim Jonesian considering the unending turmoil that enveloped the 2012-13 season.

Mike D'Antoni will be vastly improved in Year 2. The team will be just fine without Dwight Howard's pouty attitude weighing down the locker room. Kobe Bryant is breaking the land, speed, time and every other record in his recovery from Achilles surgery. 

Of course, the latter point is the one most salient at the moment. Bryant's recovery has become the golden goose of an otherwise hellacious summer, like the sweet smell of bacon as Skyler cooks Walter Jr. his last breakfast before they sit him down and tell him where his new car really came from.

As you all know, Bryant suffered a ruptured Achilles on April 12 against the Golden State Warriors. An injury that comes with almost an undiagnosable absence—anytime something has a quarter-year window, it's best to not take it too seriously—there were an abundance of doomsday theories in late-April.

Could Kobe's career be over? Will this lead to Howard's departure? Can the Lakers franchise survive this blow? The answers to these questions were no, no (at least we don't think this was a contributing factor) and yes—all positive signs for LakerLand.

But it's disconcerting that of late when you hear anyone talk about Bryant's injury, from team brass to the man himself, they make it look like he's coming back from a common ankle sprain. 

While the bluster had...

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