Despite the return of their star player, and one of the best people to ever play the sport of basketball, the Lakers could not win even with Kobe Bryant. The eastern conference as a whole has been lacking in quality this season, but somehow the Raptors were able to pull out a victory against a Lakers team that had gained its star back.
Kobe Bryant was playing in his first game since he tore his Achilles tendon in April. He returned with his star power as a player, but was unable to make a statement as an athlete. The Lakers lost in a disappointing fashion to the struggling Raptors with a final score of 106-94.
After coming off the injury many people talked about how he may be getting too old to play in the NBA, and this game may be a sign of that. However, it could just be that it is hard playing after sitting out for such a long time, and he could have a big game soon.
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) December 7, 2013
It can certainly take a while to adjust to things after being on the bench for eight months. Speaking on Kobe Bryant's performance, coach Mark D'Antoni said "It's going to take a while. I know everybody thought he could, but there's no way you can come out and be in mid-season form. It's just going to be a little while to get his legs and get his timing back.''
The fans kept cheering for him throughout the game, wanting to see their favorite player on the court, and performing the way that he used to. Unfortunately, he was not able to play to his full ability, and his teammates had trouble playing around him.
He admitted his problems, but knows he has time to improve when saying "My rhythm is completely out of sync. But this is a start, and I guess a start is good.”
He was even played into the game with the imperial march from Star Wars, channeling Darth Vader as he entered the game hoping to have a big presence, but it simply did not work. Despite all of the mythical hype behind his opening music and chanting his nickname of "Black Mamba," fans were brought back to reality after seeing Kobe's lackluster performance on Sunday night.
After the win, the Toronot Rpators improve to 7-12, and the Lakers fall to an an even record of 10-10. The Raptors were able to snap a five-game losing streak, despite playing without Rudy Gay, who is expected to be traded to the Sacramento Kings shortly. Bryant only scored nine points in the game, and delivered eight turnovers during his 27 minutes in the game.
@kobebryant your return was terrible just terrible smh u can do better than that!
— zyiairsherrer (@ObeyLiltwizzle) December 9, 2013
Hopping on KABC Radio (AM790) at 8:45 a.m. to talk about Kobe Bryant and why he graded himself an "F" in his return
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 9, 2013
Kobe Bryant returned to the court for the first time in eight months, and while receiving a very warm welcome from fans, was unable to perform as the high-caliber player that he has been throughout his career.
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