Kobe Bryant is busy preparing for a season which he, and the Lakers faithful, will be hoping will be far more positive than the disastrous 2013-14 campaign.
And judging by the NBA legend's most recent comments he is chomping at the bit - almost literally:
"I can't wait to return to my duties on the court. I feel like a race horse that has been locked in a barn for months. I want to get out," Bryant told the Die Welt publication.
After 17 years of 50-plus game seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant donned the famous jersey during the 2013-14 season on just six occasions due to a persistent knee injury.
The Lakers struggled mightily in his absence, capitulating to a 27-55 record and the ninth worst record in the entire NBA.
And with the franchise having missed out on several high profile targets during NBA free agency the reliance on Kobe will once more be at full tilt.
As the face of the franchise for well over a decade however the pressure his role within the team brings is something Kobe thrives in.
Kobe Bryant was particularly vocal in his displeasure with the Lakers last season as he watched from the sidelines, former coach Mike D'Antoni and several rotation players coming in for specific criticism at times.
Over the past few weeks the front office have been busy attempting to revitalize the franchise's fortunes - bringing in the likes of Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer as well as re-signing fan favorite Nick Young.
The key decision however was in hiring former Showtime Laker and Kobe favorite, Byron Scott, as the franchise's new head coach, and Bryant himself is keen to urge patience as the Lakers undergo a transitional period:
"Our team at this point is like a puzzle. We are looking to place the pieces in the right places. Slowly we will get results," Kobe explained.
One thing is for sure, with his determination never in question and his fitness now back to full strength any team led by Kobe Bryant will not lie down.
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