Mike D'Antoni on Kobe Bryant extension: makes sense

WASHINGTON -- Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni was happy Kobe Bryant received a two-year contract extension.

Or maybe just relieved.

"It got it out of the way before you all started talking about it," he said Tuesday, envisioning the uncertainty that could have followed if Bryant became a free agent next July. "It's good for Kobe, that's for sure, and good for the team. And he should finish a Laker. All good."

The Lakers think Bryant will return to the player he used to be.

"I have no idea, I don't think anybody knows, but I would never doubt Kobe," D'Antoni said. "What he's shown, just the little stuff at our practice he had, he's going to fine, he's going to be normal.

"Maybe he changes his game up a little bit, maybe for the better, I don't know. But he's going to be very productive, whatever it is."

There was no timetable for Bryant's return from a torn Achilles tendon. He was not at Tuesday's shoot-around in Washington and was not expected to play on the Lakers' three-game trip that continues with games in Brooklyn and Detroit.

"He's still working toward [returning] and rehabbing," D'Antoni said.


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