The Lakers returned to Hawaii for their 13th training camp, and first since 2007. Kobe Bryant began his NBA career with training camp in Honolulu, and now he begins what could be his final season back in Hawaii.
"It feels good, it's a little strange," Bryant said. "I remember it like yesterday being here. All of my teammates that were here before have either retired or are coaching or are on TV. It's a little strange to look around and see so many young guys, but at the same time you feel a great sense of responsibility to try and guide them as best as I can."
As Bryant enters his 20th NBA season, D'Angelo Russell enters his first. The Lakers second overall pick found himself a bit starstruck on the first day.
"You try to keep it off your mind that this guy is not right beside you running a three-man drill," Russell said. "But if you want to be the best you can be, you have to look at him as a mentor, not look at him as a fan."
While Bryant hopes to help guide a youthful Lakers team armed with talents like Russell and Julius Randle, he is still as competitive as ever, evident by him being the first player at practice Tuesday.
"You only grow stronger and stronger as time goes on, and your appreciation for the game increases even more," Bryant said.
Bryant added that he will not think about the possibility of retirement until after this season.
The Lakers take on the Utah Jazz at the Stan Sheriff Center October 4th & 6th.
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