Father Time delivered three devastating punches that took Kobe Bryant away from the court for three consecutive years. That made the Lakers determined to find some antibiotics to ensure their star patient can delay the inevitable against an undefeated opponent.
Bryant would have surgery on his injured right shoulder and go through a nine-month recovery process aimed at fully healing his battered body. The Lakers would upgrade their roster so neither coach Byron Scott nor Bryant would feel he has to carry a burden that would become too heavy to lift. The Lakers would then become even more conservative with Bryant’s playing time, practice regiment and off-day routines.
The Lakers did not accumulate the talent they wanted, striking out on free agent bigfish named LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe and DeAndre Jordan. But the Lakers collected a decent consolation prize in Lou Williams, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year who could ease Bryant’s workload because they both share the same position and love for scoring.
“When he goes out, I’m sure I’ll be coming in,” Williams said of Bryant in a phone interview on Monday with Los Angeles News Group. “That’s how it will work. We won’t have too many lapses. We’ll be able to keep the scoring level going and give him an opportunity to get a breather and then he’ll come back in.”