If you thought for one second Kobe Bryant would be available for the Los Anglees Lakers as they open up the season against the Los Angeles Clippers tomorrow night, think again.
Hints have been thrown out gradually whether it has been from the media, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni or Bryant himself, but Mike Bresnahan, beat writer for the Los Angeles Times has tweeted that Bryant is officially on the inactive list for the season opener (Clippers vs Lakers tickets still available.)
Kobe Bryant and Elias Harris are on Lakers’ inactive list for Tuesday’s season opener against the Clippers.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) October 28, 2013
It’s no shock that Bryant will be miss the game. At the age of 35, Bryant’s body just doesn’t recover like it did when he spent time fighting through every injury under the moon in his prime days.
This leaves the Lakers to have to face off with a Clippers team that’s ready to show they belong amongst the NBA elite. The only known starters at the moment for the Lakers are Nick Young, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash. It’s unclear who D’Antoni will put at the four, though Shawne Williams seems the likeliest candidate, and Xavier Henry fits best at the starting two spots. Compared to the Clippers starting lineup of Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin that’s… not very good.
The talent disparity between the two clubs will likely result in another series sweep on the Clippers end if Bryant can’t return in a timely manner all while being close to the player he was last season. Even with Bryant in the lineup the Clippers win almost every match up on the floor outside of the shooting guard. Even then, Bryant will have his hands full having to chase a shooter such as Redick around the perimeter. It’s going to be a long year for LA.
No Bryant doesn’t stop opening night from being heavily celebrated. Basketball has been played (while it mattered) for three months and within 24 hours we’ll be watching teams embark on a journey to win it all.