The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t given much indication about when Kobe Bryant will be ready to make his 2013-2014 season debut. On Tuesday, though, the future Hall of Famer may have identified a return date with one tweet.
There is speculation on Twitter that Bryant intends to play his first game on Nov. 15 against the Memphis Grizzlies. The shooting guard posted the words “#blackout #bearhunt” on Twitter. Some have suggested that this means Bryant intends to come back when L.A debuts their new black jerseys against the Grizzlies (bears). If the veteran does return against Memphis, Los Angeles will have played 10 games without him.
Through four games without Bryant, the Lakers are 2-2. They pulled off a shocker in the opener, beating the Los Angeles Clippers by 13 points. Nick Young started the first three games for Bryant, but he was replaced by Xavier Henry in the last contest. Henry is second on the team in scoring, trailing only Pau Gasol with 14.3 points per game. Jodie Meeks and Young have combined to average 21 points per game at shooting guard, as well.
Bryant underwent surgery to repair his torn Achilles in mid-April. The projected recovery time for the injury set at 6-9 months. When head coach Mike D’Antoni ruled Bryant out for the start of the season, he said the Lakers star was ahead of schedule.
Before the Lakers game with the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, Bryant told the media that he would probably need three weeks of conditioning before he could be a full participant in practice. Last week, he was running on flat ground “a little bit more aggressively,” and working out on a special treadmill.
Toward the end of the preseason, rumors began to spread that Bryant was targeting a return on Christmas. Bryant changed his Twitter avatar to the numbers “1225.” The new avatar, however, was likely in regards to the preseason rankings that had been given to L.A. ESPN predicted that the Lakers would finish 12th in the Western Conference and named Bryant the 25th best player in the NBA.