The Los Angeles Lakers finally have Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash at full health at the same time, but insiders say it may not be enough for a title push in the twilight years of Bryant’s career.
After two season-ending injuries in the last two years, Kobe has finally rehabbed from his ailments and is ready to return to a full work load. Nash has also shaken his injury issues, raising hope for the Lakers after the team sank to its worst finish since moving to Los Angeles in 1960.
For the Los Angeles Lakers, the new goal for the 2014-15 season is a lofty one.
“Our expectations are to win a championship,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said. “The expectations outside of this room might not be the same.”
“I think everybody is healthy right now. I’ve watched Kobe throughout the summer. I’ve gone to watch him work out down in Orange County and he’s been up here several times and he looks really good. He said he feels great. No ill effects on either injury. Steve Nash said he feels the best he’s felt in a long time. He’s been working out and playing every day here in the facility.”
The Los Angeles Lakers have also added Carlos Boozer, but in order to compete for the playoffs and beyond insiders believe it will take more than the veterans alone. Coach Byron Scott has already made it known that he will be limiting Kobe’s minutes this year to conserve him for the stretch run, and Jeremy Lin is expected to pick up a heavy workload in the backcourt.
Much will depend on Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Carlos Boozer, Kupchak said.
“I think a big degree of our success will be if those three guys can stay healthy,” he noted. “For me, a lot of our success this year is going to rely on Steve and Kobe and Carlos. We have three proven veterans. We have other veterans. Jeremy [Lin] is a veteran. Jordan Hill is a veteran. Those are our three most accomplished veterans. They will have to stay healthy and play their best for us to be the best team we can be.”
The Los Angeles Lakers may have plans to get other help for Kobe Bryant and company. There were rumors that the team was looking at Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (before he re-signed with the Suns), and Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is another rumored target.
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