Why Kobe Bryant’s Return Will Force LA Lakers to Forge Their True Identity

The world's most famous Mamba can decide when he slithers back onto the court in his purple-and-gold skin.

According to B/R's Kevin Ding, Kobe Bryant has full medical clearance and can now begin all basketball-related activities. There still isn't a specific date pinpointed for the much-anticipated return for the Los Angeles Lakers, but it can't be too far off. As Jordan Hill told NBA.com about his teammate: 

He looked real good. He was going real hard. I thought he wasn’t going to be able to go that hard but he was really pushing it. And, I know he’s not ready yet but he’s coming along and he should be ready pretty soon.

When Kobe strides onto the court, the Lakers will finally be able to forge their true identity.  

They've created a makeshift one while the superstar has rehabbed his injured Achilles, one based on fast play, three-pointers and plenty of ball movement, but that's going to be thrown out the window as soon as Kobe is ready to go. 


A Change of Pace

There are two conflicting ideologies at work here. 

On one hand, the Mike D'Antoni system asks for lots of ball movement, shots with plenty of time left on the clock and one of the quickest paces in the league. It's the reason he's become known for the "Run-n-Gun" offense and the "Seven Seconds or Less" system. 

And that's been no different in 2013-14 than it was during his infamous tenure with the Phoenix Suns a handful of years ago. 

D'Antoni asks the Lakers to run, run, run, and that's exactly what they do. So far, only the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers have been averaging more possessions per 48 minutes. 

But on the flip side, the Lakers are set to get back their unquestioned star player. It's not like Kobe is some role player who will be forced to adapt to the syste...

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