Lakers guard Kobe Bryant gives a high-five to a teammate while sitting on… (Paul Buck / EPA / April 15,…)
Even before Kobe Bryant went through a full pre-game workout Wednesday prior to the Lakers-Warriors game, Lakers development coach Phil Handy saw some signs earlier this week that suggested the Lakers' star would return to the court soon.
Though Bryant had only shown he could walk pain-free while nursing a sore left shin, that didn't prevent him from working out earlier this week. Handy said he worked with Bryant for an hour on Monday followed by a 45-minute workout Tuesday, mostly centered on taking shots in the low post and on the block with minimal movement and jumping.
"It was good," Handy said. "He still got a good sweat. He seemed like Kobe and that he was ready to go."
Bryant still missed the Lakers' eventual loss to the Spurs on Tuesday because he hadn't yet shown he could run and jump pain-free. The Times' Mike Bresnahan reported that Bryant's pre-game routine before the Lakers' eventual win Wednesday against Golden State included dozens of shots, full-speed running and jumping exercises that produced no pain. Assuming Bryant doesn't show any discomfort Thursday, he told reporters he will suit up to play Friday at San Antonio.
Handy said Bryant's normal shooting routine involves taking shots in five spots spread around the court and taking 10 shots in each area. The areas range from midrange catch-and-shoot jumpers, three-pointers and post-ups. Bryant also works on footwork, pivot jabs and turnaround jumpers usually for about 15 minutes.
"At this point in his career, he just tries to stay efficient," Handy said. "He's a sponge and willing to learn whatever will help him continue to be successful. But he has his staple of things that have led him to this point in his career in which he is just trying to perfect them."
Lakers' development coach impressed with Kobe Bryant's workouts
Five things to take from Lakers' 99-87 victory over Golden State Warriors
Kobe Bryant closer to returning after running, jumping without pain