As comebacks go, it was somewhere between the months-long “All in for Week 1” of Robert Griffin III and Michael Jordan’s “I’m back.”
On Friday, Kobe Bryant went in a different direction, with an overproduced Facebook video, to announce that he would play Sunday for the first time since tearing his Achilles’ tendon eight months ago.
Then, he went out and had nine points and eight rebounds (with four assists) in 28 minutes in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 106-94 loss to the Toronto Raptors in the Staples Center. He had eight turnovers and wasn’t grading his outing on the curve.
“F — it’s F. For me, it’s F. No question. Not to turn the ball over, I failed miserably at that,” he said. His turnovers resulted in 22 of the Raptors’ points. “That was really the biggest thing for me, just trying to take care of the basketball because I know I’m going to be in charge of making some decisions out there. Some of it is the guys getting used to where that ball’s going to be and me getting used to where they’re going to be and being able to read defenses. … This is complete failure to me. … Basketball-wise, I’m not happy.”
Bryant admitted that, although he felt “completely fine,” he also was “completely out of sync” from the longest layoff of his life.
“I think the last time I had eight months off,” Bryant joked, “I was still in the womb.”