Los Angeles Lakers’ Sleepers and Storylines to Watch This Preseason

After a busy summer, the Los Angeles Lakers are coming into the 2014 season as a new team. Dwight Howard is gone, but the roster is younger and more equipped for Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

Los Angeles will play eight preseason games, all in the month of October—three against the Golden State Warriors, a pair each against the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz, and a lone meeting with the Sacramento Kings.

This fall, as is usually the case, the Lakers will be a show. Big stories are never scarce in L.A., and there will be a couple definitely worth following once the preseason gets under way.


The Return of the Black Mamba

At a summer league game this summer, Jim Buss said that Kobe Bryant, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon with two games left in the 2013 regular season, could be back as early as the preseason, according to Arash Markazi of ESPN:

Well, we're in Vegas, and I would bet a lot of money that this guy comes back probably in preseason. He's real sharp in taking care of himself, and he's not going to rush anything just to get back and prove a point. He's going to come back when he's right. He's a machine. He's inhuman. I see him coming back at the beginning of this season. I can't believe how much he's progressed so far.

But as of right now, that doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Bryant is going to be 35 years old and entering his 18th season in the NBA. Nothing could be gained by throwing him out there in a live game if his Achilles is not fully healed yet. He’s one of the most driven basketball players of all time, but without him L.A. will flop worse than it did last season.

The Mamba must not come back until he’s 100 percent healthy. It doesn’t matter if that time comes during the preseason or regular season—he can’t let his ego get in the way of a fully successful recovery.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers