Lakers Preparing to Play without Kobe?
Kobe Bryant wore a long-sleeved sweatshirt and sweat pants at the Los Angeles Lakers’ practice on Monday, an appropriate outfit for someone who spent the workout on the sideline shouting instructions to teammates and otherwise looking more like a coach than a player. On the eve of Dwight Howard’s and Steve Nash’s debuts with the Lakers, it was Bryant who once again commanded the most attention because of one question hanging over him:
Will he be healthy enough to play in the Lakers’ season opener against the Dallas Mavericks?
Lakers coach Mike Brown called Bryant a game-time decision for Tuesday night. Bryant has not played or practiced since straining his right foot in an exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 21. He didn’t speak with reporters after Monday’s practice.
If Bryant sits, the Lakers are expected to start Jodie Meeks. Meeks averaged 9.1 points as a starter in 50 games with the Philadelphia 76ers last season. Howard described Meeks as a “great shooter” and a “smart player” who has done well in practice.
Bryant “hasn’t practiced in a while,” Howard said. “We understand what we have to do without him in the game.”