LA Lakers legend Jerry West believes Kobe Bryant would have benefitted from spending more time away from the basketball to fully recuperate from the ankle injury that left him out of the game for almost eight months.
Bryant sustained a torn Achilles tendon playing against Golden State Warriors in April and returned to the court for the Lakers earlier this month, but is now back on the treatment table once again.
The 35-year-old fractured his kneecap just six games after coming back from his long-term injury woes and will be missing for the Lakers for over a month, leaving Mike D'Antoni's frontcourt threadbare indeed.
Bryant had been steady but not spectacular prior to his most recent injury and West claims the NBA legend was a shadow of the player Lakers fans have come to adore over his long association with the franchise.
"When he was playing, to me he didn't look like the same player," West said on the Dan Patrick show. "He hadn't gotten to where he was real explosive.
"I think his shooting will always be there, but I've often wondered if he would have just rested another couple of months, would we have seen a different Kobe Bryant?"
The Lakers, meanwhile, record a win and a loss in their two weekend matches without Bryant, with Los Angeles overcoming the Timberwolves before losing to the Warriors.