Seeing as the man isn’t even fully practicing yet, this news isn’t all that surprising.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, Mike D’Antoni has ruled out the possibility of Kobe Bryant playing in Tuesday’s season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers:
[pullquote]”No,” D’Antoni said after the Lakers’ 111-106 preseason win over the Utah Jazz on Friday to finish out their exhibition schedule 4-4. “My God, I know he’s Superman, but my God. He hasn’t run yet.”[/pullquote]
Bryant has never ruled out the possibility of playing in the opener – just weeks ago he said that he hoped to play in the first game of the year – however, his interviews as of late have talked about “scaling back” workouts and being patient with the whole process.
The Black Mamba did some running and light shooting in China but has since slowed down in order to give his Achilles a chance to heal.
At the time of his surgery in April, the Lakers originally released a timetable of 6-9 months for Bryant’s recovery and that time frame hasn’t yet been updated. However, McMenamin notes that Kobe is still ahead of schedule, according to D’Antoni.
With Bryant out, the Lakers are expected to have an opening night starting five of Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Nick Young, Shawne Williams and Pau Gasol.