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Lakers open camp with Bryant, Nash

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Updated 1 year ago on

3 min read

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant practiced Tuesday for the first time since his knee injury 10 months ago and said he felt good afterward.

“I felt normal. I felt like myself,” Bryant said. “That’s a good thing.”

The Lakers opened their first training camp with Byron Scott as coach. He took over during the offseason after the team parted with Mike D’Antoni.

Bryant was on the floor for about two hours and 15 minutes before watching the final 45 minutes with fellow veteran Steve Nash, who also has battled injury issues the past few years.

Both players came through the first practice session without any problems. When two-a-days begin Wednesday, Bryant and Nash will participate in the morning practice only while Scott monitors their minutes.

The 36-year-old Bryant begins his 19th season with the Lakers, tying an NBA record for most years spent with one franchise set by Utah Jazz guard John Stockton. Bryant was limited to six games last season after he came back from a torn Achilles tendon and then fractured his left knee.

“I love playing the game. I truly enjoy it,” Bryant said. “The game was becoming a little stale, but the Achilles injury ignited a new challenge for me personally to see if I can do this because you don’t know. This was a challenge that presented itself to see if I can make this a successful comeback. My concerns are no different anybody else’s in being able to come back from this.”

The 40-year-old Nash played in only 15 games last season because of a never root irritation in his left leg.

“Kobe looked good,” Scott said. “The first drill, the 10 minutes you could see the guys were in shape. Kobe looked good. Steve was in great shape. Both of those guys did about three-fourths of the practice.

“I basically had to ask Kobe to shut it down. We got another one tomorrow. He went through one more drill and then shut it down. He felt he felt great and could have done more, but right now it’s a progression of just going a little bit today.”

Nash expects his 19th NBA training camp to be his last.

“I need to not get injured and I don’t mean that in a factious way,” Nash said. “It’s important not get an ankle (injury) or a thigh bruise or all the little injuries and try to manage them as much as possible. If I can manage the amount of minutes I’m on the court and keep myself going and don’t overdo it to where I can’t recover, maybe I got a chance to play a lot more.”

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