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Did ESPN Just Make Kobe Bryant Really Mad?

Submitted by on August 15, 2013 – 10:40 amNo Comment

Even though Kobe Bryant is reportedly far, far, far ahead of schedule when it comes to rehabbing his torn Achilles tendon, the truth is that there’s a good chance he won’t play at the beginning of the 2013-14 NBA season. Because of his injury, many NBA analysts are expecting him to sit on the sidelines until at least Christmastime in order to make sure that his leg is 100 percent rehabilitated. He’s said that he wants to play in the Los Angeles Lakers‘ season opener this fall. But that seems pretty unlikely, given the nature of the injury he suffered at the end of last season.

Even if Kobe is healthy enough to play in the opener, though, there are still a lot of people out there who are already counting the Lakers out and predicting that the Lakers won’t make the playoffs next spring. In fact, on Tuesday night ESPN.com put out their predictions for the 2013-14 NBA season. And they had the Lakers finishing in 12th in the Western Conference, behind teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, and New Orleans Pelicans. That’s right—even the Pelicans are getting more love than the Lakers! And that didn’t sit well with Kobe, who tweeted about it a short time later:

Kobe didn’t add any additional insight or talk about the ESPN.com rankings any further. He moved on to the next topic—Kendrick Lamar‘s verse on Big Sean‘s “Control”—and didn’t elaborate on the Lakers’ low ranking on ESPN.com’s list. But you better believe that the number 12 is going to haunt him in his dreams for the next few months. It’s going to fuel his rehab process, and it’s likely going to force Kobe to do everything in his power to get back into the Lakers lineup ASAP so that he can try and disprove the ESPN.com prediction. It’s going to serve as the perfect motivation for him between now and October.

Will it help the Lakers succeed next season? We’ll just have to wait and see. But if we know one thing, it’s this: Kobe will not let ESPN.com get the last laugh. You can pretty much bank on that.

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