Kobe Bryant Lauds Jim Buss, Admits He Has 'No Idea' When He'll Return to Lakers

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 29:  Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to someone in the crowd during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on October 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

If "I have no idea" is an acceptable timetable for Kobe Bryant's return to the Los Angeles Lakers, then lo and behold, the Black Mamba is on a definitive recovery plan.

Before the Lakers took on the Los Angeles Clippers to open their season, Bryant spoke with Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears and indicated he was unsure as to when he would return.

"I don't, I don't," he said. "How can I? I don't even know if I will be able to push it hard tomorrow. I have no idea."

Give us something a little more conclusive than that, Kobe. Lie to us. Just give us something. Tell us you'll be back by December. Please?

"Dude, I don't know," Bryant told Spears on the possibility of playing by December. "I don't give a [expletive] what people believe. When I'm ready, I will play."

TNT's Craig Sager tried his luck at coaxing Bryant into a better answer while he was sitting on the sidelines watching his Lakers embarrass the Clippers, but Bryant stymied him, too.

"I don't know," a smirking Mamba admitted to Sager. "It's an injury I've obviously never had before and it's tough to gauge. "I'm pushing it pretty hard this week and every day I wake up, I see how it feels and try to push it some more. I'm trying to be smart about it and trying to be patient about it."

General managers everywhere, brush up your resumes. There's a new master of shirking—the front-office version of twerking.

Like a GM, a politician or you after being caught with your hand in the cookie jar, Bryant was seemingly honest, yet evasive. He wouldn't commit to a target date for his return.

At least he was smiling on the sidelines. There was plenty to smile about as Xavier Henry and Jordan Farmar set out to make him proud.

Look closely, and you'll see he might even be blushing. You can thank Jim Buss for that.

Earlier, Buss told ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne that, contrary to other reports, the Los Angeles Lakers weren't about to let the Black Mamba become a free agent in 2014. As expected, Bryant was flattered.

"I thought it was great actually on his part to kind of silence some of the conversation that was brewing," Bryant told Spears. "I'm sure we will be in conversation."

If only Bryant was as sure about his short-term health as he was his long-term future.

"Personally? I'm going to be the way I've always been," Bryant explained to Spears. "Maybe a little better."

Now, that's more like it.