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KOBE BACK

Guess who’s back, back, back. Back again gain gain.

Kobe’s back, back, back, Tell a friend, friend, friend.

Later tonight, Kobe Bryant will make his first appearance in an NBA game since last April when he tore his Achilles. You can catch the Lakers’ match-up with the Toronto Raptors at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV.

As it is his first game back, Kobe will be limited in his minutes. From J.A. Adande’s column for ESPN Los Angeles,

“I don’t think it’s a magical number,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said after practice Saturday when asked about a minute range for Bryant. “He’s totally well and ready to go. I think he’ll be limited by his wind and ability to be able to take the pounding. So, I would be surprised if more than in the twenties. It shouldn’t be any more than that.”

Knowing Kobe, however, those limitations won’t last long. He’s the league’s toughest and fiercest competitor – evidenced by the fact he sunk two free throws with a torn Achilles and then walked off the court on his own power last spring – and won’t want to be sitting on the bench for any longer than he has to.

To welcome Kobe back from his injury, the NBA put together a pretty cool little video. It’s simple and a nice gesture to one of the league’s all-time greats.

So welcome back, Kobe. No matter what your personal feelings are on the future hall-of-famer, there’s no denying the league’s a better place with him on the court.

jmaloney