Kobe Bryant Media Session

January 05, 2014 7:19 pm PST
Kobe Bryant

Q: On where he’s at right now physically and what he’s doing to rehab:
Bryant: I’m doing all right, just doing a lot of bike riding and trying to keep my legs in shape as much as possible.

Q: On his focus going through this process:
Bryant: I’m focusing on staying in shape. That’s really the big thing. You want to keep yourself active. You don’t want to be ready to go and now you have to start from scratch in terms of your conditioning, wait and things like that.

Q: On the injury itself and if he feels he can get back on the court without feeling any adverse effects:
Bryant: Yeah, that’s one of the silver linings of it. I was very fortunate it wasn’t a meniscus or an ACL or something like that. The bones will heal and it will be just like brand new.

Q: On the next steps for him in the next couple weeks:
Bryant: Same thing as I’ve been doing now. I’m pretty restricted in terms of what I can do. Just staying on the bike, keeping themovement going and keeping the leg strong.

Q: On his thoughts on where the season is headed and if that affects when he returns to the court:
Bryant: I just do what I do. On a daily basis, I stay in shape, I get strong and I focus on the moment. I focus on being ready physically. That’s all I can do. You can’t really worry about what you can’t control. You try to keep your guys encouraged, try to stay in their ear as much as possible and just go from there.

Q: On if the time off has helped with his Achilles injury:
Bryant: It helps. You get a chance to get the Achilles stronger and rest it even more where it’s not a concern whatsoever.

Q: On what he thought of Kendall Marshall’s performance against Utah:
Bryant: I thought he played extremely well, obviously. What I like about Kendall is he has really good size to him and good length. He has a funny looking shot, but it goes in. I like the talent that he has to be able to play both ends of the floor. I’ve always been a big fan of big guards and he certainly did a great job. Now he’s going to have his work cut out for him, but I think he’ll do fine.

Q: On why he thinks Phil Jackson’s coaching tree is so small in the NBA:
Bryant: Phil’s philosophies are different to say the least in terms of how he teaches the game and how he coaches the game. There’s some X’s and O’s to it, obviously. But he teaches players, he teaches guys how to play, but he teaches it from a place of Zen. He teaches it from a place of emotional balance. It’s hard to duplicate that and replicate that. It has to be something that’s a part of you – to have those philosophies or those beliefs and the meditation and all that. It’s very, very hard to duplicate that.

Q: On what he has to do to get to the point where he can practice:
Bryant: You go in, get the MRI, see if the fracture ishealed and if it’s healed, I can go back out there and get to work.

Q: On when he expects to in and get the next MRI:
Bryant: No, I’m not sure. I know it’s something that’s not in the near future.

Q: On coaches now not fully committing to the Triangle offense, if it’s difficult to duplicate Jackson’s style and if others can be successful using that system:
Bryant: No, because the system is predicated on the spirituality of the game in terms of being in the moment, reading and reacting, patience, balance. How he teaches the system comes directly from his beliefs and philosophies spiritually. You see teams that go out there that try to run it in the past that don’t have that same level of success.

Q: On if there’s enough time in this season for the team to make a run:
Bryant: Yeah, they’ll be fine. You just have to get their ass in gear. Play both ends of the floor, get a couple games here and go on a nice two- or three-game streak. All of a sudden, we’re back in the hunt and you start picking it up from there, and start chipping away, chipping away and we’ll be fine.

Q: On how he manages to stay patient with this current injury:
Bryant: I don’t have much of a choice. A fracture, either it heals or it doesn’t. I don’t have much of a choice unfortunately.

Q: On if he caught Nick Young’s impersonation of him at his locker the other night:
Bryant: A little bit of it, a little bit of it. Clearly he doesn’t watch the Discovery Channel or Animal Planet. But other than that, it was good.

Q: On how he would feel playing in the All-Star game with so few games under his belt:
Bryant: That’s obviously a sensitive topic for me personally because you want to feel like you deserve to be in the game and play. But there’s the other side of the argument where you’ve put in a lot of work over the years and fans, if they vote you in, you want to go out there and show your appreciation and respect to them. It’s always a delicate balance. From where I come from, I really enjoy watching what the young guys are doing and how they’re performing. Even though there’s so much respect that comes from me to be able to play for the fans, I’d much rather see the young guys going out there and playing in a game because they’ve obviously put the work in there to be that weekend, so I’d much rather see them go out there and participate.

Q: On when he will make that decision:
Bryant: On whether or not I can play or not. I probably won’t be able to come back soon enough to be able to make my stamp or make my mark on the game. My advice would be to vote some of these younger players – the Damian Lillard’s of the world – because they’re more than deserving to be out there playing during that weekend.