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Old 08-06-2006, 04:06 PM   #1
Twiens
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Default Article on Kobe's Knee,thoughts on bron,wade,soccer etc...

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August 6 2006

Once again some of the best players in the world were playing and all Kobe Bryant could do was watch.

He sat in the stands in Las Vegas on Tuesday when the USA basketball team scrimmaged. And he stood by Saturday as Ronaldinho and the stars of FC Barcelona played a loose pickup game against some local kids amid the shops at Hollywood and Highland. When an emcee exhorted Bryant to join in, Bryant replied: "If I had two healthy knees, I would."

If the star player's inability to kick a soccer ball is ruining summer throughout Lakerland like an invasion of ants, you might find his words a little more comforting. Afterward, he said he expects to be completely recovered from his July 15 arthroscopic knee for the start of training camp in October.

"By then I should be full bore, completely healed up, strong, ready to go," Bryant said.

Here's where it stands now:

"I can walk fine, go up steps fine," he said. "The pain in my knee is gone. What was causing the trouble, they went in there and took it out. Scar tissue was impinging the kneecap. It was stopping its mobility, so when I bent down it was catching my knee. I didn't have full range."

He said the pain in his knee wouldn't go away when he resumed his workouts after a post-playoff break.

Surgery was "the right thing to do. I can wake up in the morning and bend down."

He's still working on his upper body, doing some light work on the exercise bike, and doing manual resistance exercises for his legs while lying on his back. But his main agenda this summer is resting the knee. So no national team, no pickup soccer.

"With scar tissue, they really want me to let it settle, just let the scar tissue heal before you get out there and start running around," Bryant said. "Your scar tissue comes back too quickly, you'll wind up having to do the same procedure again in a year or two."

That was jarring. This could be a recurring thing?

"If you don't treat it right, absolutely," Bryant said. "That's what scar tissue is. If you don't stay on top of it, just let it rest and heal itself, you're going to be back in the same situation. That's why right now we're taking everything nice and slow."

Hard to believe the numbers, but he'll celebrate his 28th birthday Aug. 23 and begin his 11th NBA season Oct. 31

"It seems like yesterday I was 18," Bryant said. "Now I'm kind of in a place where I feel rejuvenated, like I'm 18 again. It feels so fun. I'm just enjoying it. The light at the end of the tunnel is a lot better. You want to be able to appreciate. When you start your career, you don't even see [the end]."

He did seem to be enjoying himself Saturday, savoring the cheers of the crowd.

He likes the addition of Vladimir Radmanovic. He's happy about his foundation's sponsoring a trip to Italy for eight minority college students. He was as excited about the chance to meet the soccer stars as the people who crowded the plaza at a welcome for FC Barcelona's U.S. tour.

He played soccer and followed AC Milan when he lived in Italy. He's a big fan of Ronaldinho, and the two Nike pitchmen exchanged cellphone numbers on stage.

"It's about time," Bryant said of soccer's growing popularity in the U.S. "It's a great sport."

Other questions and answers:

Did watching Shaquille O'Neal win a championship stoke any competitive fires within him?

"Nahhh," Bryant said. "You know what I mean? It's fine."

I told him my first thought after the Heat won the championship is that it's no longer Kobe vs. Shaq, it's Kobe vs. Dwyane Wade.

"I think that's what a lot of people want to see, really, more so than the Shaquille O'Neal-and-me story," Bryant said. "I think it's Dwyane Wade being a young player and doing his thing."

On watching Wade and LeBron James keep playing after the Lakers were eliminated in the first round:

"I think it's great for the game," Bryant said. "People ask me that, they think I should feel some type of way about that. It's so silly to me. Because the way it is nowadays, they try to pit players against one another. I think it's fun, because it raises up the level. You see LeBron playing well, Dwyane playing well, I love that stuff, man. I love it.

"It keeps the game going. When I was a kid growing up. Magic, Bird, Michael, Isiah, Charles that's what it's supposed to be about. Chris Paul is now coming into his own. There's a lot of young talent."

Even at 27-going-on-28, we can still group Bryant in with the young crowd. But as he used to say, it's not the age, it's the mileage. The odometer shows 707 career games and 126 playoff games, so how's the car doing?

"It feels great," Bryant said. "I got my tuneup, had the mechanic go in, clean my joint out, I'm oiled up, I'm ready to go."

Not quite as good as the refrigerator door is closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter's getting hard and the Jell-O is jiggling, but I'm sure it's a metaphor that sounds good to Laker fans.

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Old 08-06-2006, 04:32 PM   #2
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Thank you very much for that. I am glad to hear Kobe is going to be at 100% by the time the season starts.

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Old 08-06-2006, 05:05 PM   #3
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thanks man. great stuff. glad to see that hes gonna be ready to go by training camp. is it me or does it sound like kobe is pullin all that "i dont care" or "its fine with me" when he really feels differently about it. I mean, i followed kobe for a while and one of the things I liked about him was how competitive he got when he saw other players at a high level..
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:28 AM   #4
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Too long, anyone want to summarize?
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwerty
Too long, anyone want to summarize?

Basically Kobe said he's gonna b ready 4 summer camp n that he couldn't bend his knee b4 tha surgery n it wuz definitely neccessary n all dat... then he said he feels like he's 18 again rejuvenated, he's not pissed @ Shaq winning, think rivalry is more w/ dwade, likes all the competitiveness btween wade, bron n all young guys, likes addition of radman...
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Old 08-07-2006, 01:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dblockallstars
Basically Kobe said he's gonna b ready 4 summer camp n that he couldn't bend his knee b4 tha surgery n it wuz definitely neccessary n all dat... then he said he feels like he's 18 again rejuvenated, he's not pissed @ Shaq winning, think rivalry is more w/ dwade, likes all the competitiveness btween wade, bron n all young guys, likes addition of radman...



Ooo, nice. Thanks for the summary.
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Old 08-07-2006, 01:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
thanks man. great stuff. glad to see that hes gonna be ready to go by training camp. is it me or does it sound like kobe is pullin all that "i dont care" or "its fine with me" when he really feels differently about it. I mean, i followed kobe for a while and one of the things I liked about him was how competitive he got when he saw other players at a high level..

Yea, I feel what you're saying and I honestly don't believe what he's saying in this article either. I know he's using what happened last postseason as motivation. So I think its more of Kobe just going through the motions in that interview. Personally I think Kobe's going to use him not getting the MVP as motivation this year the most as it was clear he deserved it.
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Old 08-07-2006, 01:54 AM   #8
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Kobe scored 35 ppg on a bum knee? 81 on a bum knee? 62 in 3 on a bum knee? Kobe is going to score 100 next season since he is even healthier.
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