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Kobe Bryant upgrades his season debut from an 'F' to a 'D' grade

December 09, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan

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Kobe Bryant stayed up until 2 a.m. Monday, watching video of his season debut against Toronto.

His opinion of his game was lower than low after the Lakers lost Sunday to the Raptors, 106-94. He gave himself a failing grade.

He upgraded his game to a "D" while talking to reporters Monday afternoon.

"It wasn't as bad as I thought it was," Bryant said after a light practice Monday morning. "A few turnovers and things like that. A lot of it was just mistiming. Made some pretty good reads, got my guys some pretty good looks."

Bryant scored only nine points on two-for-nine shooting. He had eight turnovers and four assists in 28 minutes, his first action after an eight-month absence because of a torn Achilles' tendon.

He wasn't worried about disrupting team chemistry, the Lakers sitting with a better-than-expected 10-9 record before his return.

"Chemistry will be fine. It's not like we were gangbusters before," he said. "Guys know how to play. We'll be fine."

His game will need to be watered, Bryant said, comparing the next few weeks to an exhibition season.

"I've always had sucky preseasons. Always," he said. "It's just a matter of just kind of building your legs, finding your rhythm. Now there's a little bit more pressure obviously than in a preseason game. The crowd's a little bit more worried for me in between games to get ready."

Bryant averaged 27.3 points and six assists last season.

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