Will Kobe Bryant’s Return Inspire False Hope from LA Lakers Fans?

Just about the only thing Los Angeles Lakers fans can bet on is Kobe Bryant's return.

There is no conceivable scenario in which an able-bodied Bryant won't play again this season. When he's ready, despite many wishes to the contrary, he's going to play. 

TNT's Charles Barkley previously suggested Bryant should sit out the rest of the season, a thought the Mamba himself hasn't even entertained, according to ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin:

The only thing I can afford to consider is getting better, getting stronger. I can't allow myself to think any other way. I can only think about the next step. To do anything else becomes distracting if you allow yourself, if you give yourself wiggle room to not push yourself as hard as you possibly can. To think about sitting out and this, that and the other, your motivation is all wrong. I refuse to think that way.

Relief would typically be washing over fans at the sound of Bryant once again refusing to yield.

Bryant operates on one setting and one setting only: go. If he plays, he will go hard, without regard for record or his team's direction.

At 35 and nearly two decades into his NBA career, he doesn't understand how to play, how to fight any other way, a stubborn mindset that will come as refreshing to a Lakers fanbase being subjected to losing efforts and generally hapless basketball daily.

With him, the Lakers are pretty much the Lakers again, far from whole but recognizable, potentially making way for notional expectations that have no real chance of coming true.


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One thing Bryant won't give the Lakers—aside from a superstar who doesn't speak "tank"—is an identity.

In some ways, he is the Lakers. His face is associated with shooting and scoring and shooting and winning and shooting and championships. Put him back in purpl...

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