Kobe Bryant provides encouraging words for Lakers teammates

The Lakers missed Kobe Bryant’s physical presence, but they sensed his influence permeate the locker room.

Before Saturday’s practice, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak shared with the team a 30-second video on his cell phone that showed Bryant outlining how the Lakers could win their 17th NBA championship without their star because of a torn left Achilles tendon that will sideline him at least six to nine months.

“It was classic Kobe with the way he inspired us,” Lakers reserve guard Darius Morris recalled. “Mitch brought a video of him right before he went into surgery just telling us we know we have to do. Just go out there and get it done. ”

The Lakers took that first step with a 91-86 victory Sunday over the San Antonio Spurs.

– Reported by Mark Medina of theĀ Los Angeles Daily News