THERE'S no doubt in Joe 'Jellybean' Bryant's mind that his son Kobe will be stronger than ever when he returns from an Achilles tendon injury that prematurely ended his season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“He’ll be back strong,” Bryant said of his NBA superstar son after the Sports Rev Thailand Slammers, which he coaches, lost to the San Miguel Beermen in their Asean Basketball League match at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Bryant, who played for several years in the NBA for the Julius Erving-led Philadelphia 76ers and had a successful basketball career in Italy, said he expects his 34-year-old son to play much longer in the NBA once he completes his recovery.
“Before the injury, he has talked about maybe playing one or two years. But I think he will play another three, four, five years,” said Bryant.
Asked if the Lakers star will still be the same Kobe when he returns, Joe Bryant resoundingly answered, “Oh yes.”
Joe Bryant, however, declined to comment about the legal battle between Kobe and his mom Pamela over the rights to the global cage icon's high school memorabilia.
Pamela, incidentally, joined Joe Bryant in the Slammers’ first road trip to Manila this season and watched from courtside as the Slammers lost to the Beermen, 61-78.