ESPN: With the same purpose as one of his in-your-face jumpers, Kobe Bryant leaned into the microphone.
He promised more NBA Finals games to come.
“The series ain’t over,” he said. “It’s far from over.”
Faced with long odds, Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers returned to the practice floor Saturday for the first time since Game 4, when the Boston Celtics stormed back from a 24-point deficit to win and take a 3-1 lead in this reborn rivalry.
The Lakers have run out of time and tomorrows. It’s either win Game 5 on Sunday or pack away the sneakers for summer.
No team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals, and even if the Lakers can stave off elimination and win at Staples Center, they’ll have to play Games 6 and 7 in Boston, where the Celtics are 12-1 this postseason. Since the league switched to the much-debated 2-3-2 format in 1985, no team has won the last two games on the road.
Their climb is a steep one, and if the Lakers have any chance of mounting a comeback, Bryant, the league’s MVP and the game’s most transcendent player, most criticized personality and most unstoppable force, must be the one to lead them.