It’d be ‘very hard’ for Kobe Bryant to play on trip, Mike D’Antoni says

Lakers All-Star Kobe Bryant greets Mavericks veteran Vince Carter before a game earlier this season in Dallas.
(Tony Gutierrez / AP)

Coach Mike D’Antoni said it would be “very hard” for Kobe Bryant to play during the Lakers’ three-game road trip next week.

Bryant did not practice Saturday, the second consecutive team session he did not take part in after two strong days of full-contact work earlier this week.

Bryant did some running and shooting off to the side Saturday at the Lakers’ training facility. He also worked on some individual moves. D’Antoni said.


He is not expected to play Sunday against Sacramento. The Lakers then head out for games Tuesday at Washington, Wednesday at Brooklyn and Friday at Detroit.

“It’s a process. I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight so we’ll just have to kind of see,” D’Antoni said Saturday. “He knows what we’re doing, so when he’s ready to go, he’ll tell us.”

Bryant has not played a game since April 12 because of a torn Achilles’ tendon. Everybody knows he does not need to practice to play in a game but it would help gauge his strength.

The problem: The Lakers don’t practice again until Dec. 3.

They won’t do any work Monday because it is a travel day, they won’t do any team activities on Thanksgiving, and the team will likely be given days off next Saturday and Dec. 2.

At that point, the Lakers have a solid break before playing at Sacramento on Dec. 6. More should be known about Bryant’s readiness by that point.

“Nothing’s in stone. That’s an area where we’ll have three or four practices and we’ll look at it and see where we go from there,” D’Antoni said. “It doesn’t mean it will happen, but it could.”

D’Antoni also said that week of practice would be important for Steve Nash (sore back), who won’t play on the upcoming road trip because of nerve damage in his back.


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