Kobe Bryant practices, and passes, with Lakers
LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant practiced with the Lakers for the first time in almost two weeks, and there was one obvious tendency.
He passed the ball. A lot.
He didn’t take an outside shot in about 20 minutes of a full-court scrimmage open to reporters Tuesday.
“Get that on tape, will you?” Coach Mike D’Antoni said jokingly. “That won’t happen a lot.”
Then D’Antoni gave a serious answer.
“He does that in practice sometimes,” D’Antoni said. “He can get a shot when he wants to and I think he feels that. I think he goes back and forth.”
Bryant’s one basket during the open part of scrimmage was a dunk that came off a steal. He didn’t get too far over the rim.
Maybe he wasn’t trying to push his Achilles’ tendon, which he tore April 12. It was hard to tell. He did not talk to reporters after practice.
Bryant is hoping to also practice Wednesday and Thursday. If he feels fine, he’ll be on target to make his season debut Friday at Sacramento.
“Today was a good day,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll see [Wednesday] how he reacts and everything but [Tuesday] was a big step forward.
“He played hard, played for about half-hour, 45 minutes, did everything… I didn’t see anything he couldn’t do.”
Bryant scrimmaged with Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Wesley Johnson and Steve Blake, who said he felt OK despite being bothered recently by a hyperextended right elbow.
Bryant’s passes were sometimes on the mark but sometimes not.
He had a pass knocked out of bounds by Chris Kaman and sailed another one too wide for Wesley Johnson.
Bryant sent a nice no-look pass to Shawne Williams for a baseline jumper and also found Johnson for an open three-pointer.
“He looked really good, actually,” Gasol said of Bryant. “You can tell he’s been working a lot on his own. He’s in a really good rhythm. He knows what he’s doing out there. I look forward to [Wednesday’s] practice.”
Steve Nash scrimmaged for only 10 minutes Tuesday and left the court before reporters were allowed into practice.
“I can’t say he looked as good as Kobe,” Gasol said. “But it was good to see him at practice.”
Nash hasn’t played since Nov. 10 because of a sore back. He said it was “very unlikely” he would play in Friday’s game.