There was no dribbling or layup’s for Kobe at two practices on Friday because of a pain in the player’s right foot, the Associated Pressreported.
The Lakers MVP’s foot soreness did not bother him during the first four days of training camp in which he practiced, but by Friday’s morning session the superstar decided to sit out. He was expected to practice during the evening but again opted out because the pain persisted throughout the day.
Coach Mike Brown spoke with Lakers’ trainer Gary Vitti, who had consulted Bryant when morning practices began. Vitti suggested that Bryant sit the practices out, Brown agreed:
“My take on it is this: Gary has a job to do, he’s our head trainer and I just follow his lead,” Brown said. “He knows a lot more than me when it comes to that stuff, so really, I’m OK not knowing what’s going on. Just, ‘Can a guy go or not?’ If you can go, great. If he can’t go, great.”
Still making strides during practice, Lakers center Dwight Howard seemed to be on his way to a full recovery from his offseason back surgery, ESPNreports.Howard had no problems practicing on Friday and did so without restraint.
According to Brown, Howard has not sat out from any practices, which is key to playing on the court:
“I couldn’t even tell you what he hasn’t done. Every time I look up he’s in the drills, whether it’s contact or non-contact…I don’t have a rule where a guy has to play X amount of games before he can play in the opener. He can play one (preseason) game and still play. He might not play at all and still play … The biggest thing for me is as long as he’s in practice beforehand.”
Bryant is entering his 17th NBA season and many have speculated when his career will end. Situations like the player’s sore foot keeping him from practices has made the media wonder, but Kobe has said the team is still his:
”I got a question earlier about whose team this is. I don’t want to get into the, ‘Well, we share …’ No, it’s my team. But I want to make sure that Dwight, when I retire, this is going to be his. I want to teach him everything I possibly know so that when I step away this organization can ride on as if I never left.”