The excitement was palpable at the Staples Center last night (December 8, 2013). Kobe Bryant returned to the Lakers after a long 8 month absence due to injury. Even the Lakers store had 24% off in honor of his number. He was scheduled to play only a portion of the game against the Toronto Raptors. It was an exciting night and Staples Center was packed.
However, the Lakers lagged behind the Raptors for the entire game. Kobe played in an understandably restrained way, but there were still unmistakable flashes of his extraordinary talent on the court. Unfortunately, he passed often, and many of those he passed to missed their shots. Kobe didn't play long, and the Raptors were surprisingly effective. Also, the refs didn't do the Lakers any favors, they made lots of calls against the Lakers. You would think the Lakers were on the road in hostile territory!
The Lakers trailed the whole game, despite some moments where they connected as a team and with the basket; and didn't make many of the shots they should have. The Raptors had great night, and beat them without much of a struggle. Still, it was very exciting to see Kobe play again. I imagine in future games as his superior talent melds with the rest of the team, and he gets his rhythm back, the Lakers will once again be more like the team we know and love.
The final score 106 to 94, Lakers lost to Raptors. Kobe had only a disappointing 9 points.
By the way, the Staples Center is a lovely venue to take in a game or concert. In particular, if you spring for the Premier seats which cost just a little more than the ones in the nose bleed section, there are some very nice touches in that level. They have beautiful photos of past events, very nice food and upscale furnishings, and of course you get a much better view of the game. It's on the same level as some of the suites, so you will feel pampered. What better way to enjoy your Lakers?
\We wish the Lakers all the best and will continue to watch with interest as Kobe gets back into the game. And we continue to hope for great things once again from this fascinating basketball franchise with such a long, amazing history. They have won 16 NBA championships, second only to the Boston Celtics, and greatness is within them.
For a fascinating video of Kobe Bryant discussing his playing after the game, visit: Kobe video.