Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 8/14/13
To fill a gaping news hole in August without any NBA, ESPN has begun their summer forecast series and started with their predictions for the upcoming season in each conference. In the East, Miami is the typical favorite with Chicago, Indiana and Brooklyn trailing behind. In the West, it is the Thunder, Clippers, Spurs and Rockets comprising the top four. No Lakers you would notice. They do not appear until No. 12 in the West with a predicted record of 36-46. It is OK if you did not scroll down that far on the page. Kobe Bryant did. And he is not too happy: 12th I see.. — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 14, 2013 The wheels are churning from the uber-competitive Bryant as he continues to rehabe and return from a ruptured Achilles. Bryant certainly believes he can win a championship all by himself just by his presence. Having Pau Gasol back in a featured post role might also help a bit too. It will not matter for the aging Lakers though if Bryant is not on the court. That is still a question. One that Bryant, again, hopes to answer in October. Shaquille O'Neal told Time Warner Cable SportsNet(h/t Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times) that Bryant is aiming for an Opening Night return, something that would be completely miraculous if it were to occur. I'm sure Kobe is going to come back early. Anything before nine months is early. Him making the first game, I wish him well. He's a very, very competitive kid. He loves the naysayers. He loves proving people wrong. When he put the rumor out there that he may be back the first game, best believe he's trying to come back the first game Bryant certainly is not afraid to put himself out there and make a bold statement. And he wants to be ready to play on opening day. So watch your back ESPN. [follow]
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football


Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker