Why It’s Too Early to Judge What Version of Kobe Bryant LA Lakers Are Getting

These things take time, even when you're Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lakers fans aren't accustomed to reading those words in succession. Supporting one of the most storied franchises in all of sports gives them that luxury.

During the Buss family era, it's been contend now. Win now. Plan for later while securing championships. Kobe Bryant's time in purple and gold has only confirmed that approach.

Five championships in 17 years is something. Solidifying yourself as one of the greatest to ever grace the court—that's something. And it's the reason why Kobe's return from a ruptured Achilles has been dissected by so many different scalpels, even though it's much too early for anything other than lionized guesswork.

Lakers fans, and NBA fans in general, have come to expect the best from Kobe because that's all they've ever seen. And with such beliefs comes effrontery.

Snap judgments are made and taken as established fact. It has to be true, because there has to be an answer now. Waiting is not an acceptable course of action. Instant gratification is the standard.

That makes it difficult to understand that the Kobe we see now, however it is you perceive him, isn't the Kobe Los Angeles will ultimately get.

He and the Lakers will unearth answers eventually. In due time, the version of Kobe we see will actually be Kobe. But not right now.

This is beta Kobe, who is in the early stages of his career's final chapter, a chapter requiring patience, which is something a fanbase and team addicted to living in the moment must finally understand.


Still New to This Whole 2013-14 Thing

Kobe's numbers aren't pretty, and they're far from Black Mamba-ish.

Through six games, he's averaging 13.8 points on 42.5 percent shooting, both of which would be his lowest totals since 1996-97, when he was a rookie. Hi...

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