Those holding tickets to Lakers exhibition games would be wise to arrive early if they want to see Kobe Bryant.
Phil Jackson was asked whether he planned to limit Kobe and Pau Gasol during training camp, or the exhibition season, considering they barely had a month off after finishing Olympic competition.
“I was told not to say that I wasn’t going to play Kobe in exhibition games. So I’m not going to say that Kobe’s not going to play in this exhibition, but there’s a chance he may not play in exhibition games,” Jackson said with a smirk.
Knowing Bryant though, it’ll be hard convince him to sit out entirely. More likely, Bryant would start, get some run in, then relax.
“We’ve been playing all summer, obviously we had a long season and Phil does a good job of making sure that we stay in condition, but he doesn’t overexert us too much because of the long summer,” Bryant said.
“I feel great, I could run all day. I’m in shape, I’m ready to go.”
So too, is his injured right pinkie. It still hurts when he bangs it on something, Bryant said, but after a summer of doing strengthening exercises, it’s strong enough that Bryant doesn’t even need to tape it anymore.
“Over the summer it’s gotten really strong, I’ve done some exercises to build it up,” he said. “It’s not something I need to watch out for anymore. I can pretty much do everything.”