At his postgame press conference in Beijing after the Lakers fell to Golden State Tuesday morning, D’Antoni was asked about the chances of Kobe playing opening night Oct. 29 against the Clippers and he was honest in his response (via Zach Harper at Eye on Basketball).
“No. I don’t think so. We’ll see. I think it’s an ongoing process but that would be tough.”
The most interesting part of the short, but direct quote by D’Antoni is the second part. He said it’s an “ongoing process”. That leaves the door open, and for Kobe, that’s all you need — a little opening.
You can never bet against Kobe, but let’s be clear. This decision isn’t coming down to D’Antoni. Kobe is this team, especially now that Dwight Howard is gone. If Kobe feels he can play, and the doctors clear him, he’s playing. No matter what D’Antoni says.
I really don’t know if Kobe is going to be on the court for the Lakers on opening night, but there’s no question that the Lakers are going to need him.