The Los Angeles Lakers met for practice on Wednesday morning, and nothing much had changed from the end of Tuesday’s practice. Kobe Bryant was still good to go, and he would be taking part in another full contact practice.
“(Bryant will) go full blown today and then, we’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said before Wednesday's practice. “If it happens tomorrow, then Friday looks good, but we don’t know that for sure.”
The coach left himself enough wiggle room to avoid committing to a Friday comeback against Sacramento. Ultimately, the feeling was that Bryant would be back soon, but no one was rushing the 35-year-old.
For the second practice in a row, Bryant opted not to address the media, but he is expected to take questions after Thursday’s practice.
Before Wednesday’s practice started, Bryant walked onto the court, did some light stretching, worked on free throws and took some mid-range shots before joining the team huddle. After the team broke, they went into 5-on-zero drills that featured Bryant running basic offensive sets with Wesley Johnson, Steve Blake, Jordan Hill, and Pau Gasol--the most likely first unit.
Steve Nash was also taking part in team stretching and ran drills as point guard of the second unit. Although talk of Nash playing with the second unit has surfaced lately, practicing as the point guard with the second unit should not be taken to mean too much just yet.
With Jordan Farmar out for four weeks with a hamstring tear, Nash getting reps with the second unit makes sense.
“I think he’s a bit longer [away from a return] than Kobe (Bryant),” D’Antoni said about Nash.
Wednesday was one day closer to Bryant’s return, and his teammates were looking forward to the Black Mamba returning to game action.
“I’m looking forward to today’s practice,” Gasol said. “I hope [Bryant] can do as much as he did yesterday.”