If you hadn’t heard by now, Kobe Bryant is back. The first order of business for the Black Mamba, who had been sidelined since last spring with a torn achilles, has been to guide this moribund Los Angeles Lakers club back into the Western Conference playoff picture. This Friday he’ll face his toughest test so far in a clash with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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While critics have tried to doubt the veteran Bryant in the past, only to have their skepticism quashed time and again, there’s no denying that the Lakers will face an up-hill battle over the course of the 2013-14 campaign.
After a disappointing 2012-13, the LA roster is a shell of its former self. Gone is Dwight Howard, Steve Nash can hardly stay on the court, and Bryant is fresh off of the biggest absence of his NBA career – it’s no wonder they hold just 66/1 odds of winning the NBA championship
on the basketball futures.
The Thunder, in contrast, sit third in the league with 6/1 NBA odds. If Kobe were still out come the Friday clash, one can only assume Kevin Durant and company would have their way with the purple and gold – but Kobe Bryant is officially back in business and when he’s back in business, anything can happen.