The question of how watchable the Lakers will be is indisputably tied to the question of how Kobe Bryant is recovering from his April Achilles tendon tear, and that bit of theater will always be worth watching because of the ripple effect it will have on the vaunted free agency summer of 2014. He’s 35 years old as of Aug. 28 and has logged more regular season minutes all time than all but 13 NBA players (45,390) and another 8,641 in 220 playoff games.
If he’s a few more steps slow and not worthy of consideration as a starring member of another superteam, then it would stand to reason that — assuming Bryant re-signs with the Lakers as expected — the notion of LeBron James opting out of his Miami Heat deal and joining him in Los Angeles seems far-fetched. So Kobe’s play, you could say, should be monitored closely by Heat fans as they decide whether or not to be concerned about James leaving town next summer.
Source: Sam Amick, USAToday.com/Sports