Kobe Bryant is working towards getting ready for the 2013-14 NBA season, as he continues to recover and fight back from his torn Achilles injury.

Bryant may be in for the toughest season of his 18-year NBA career, as he deals with the mileage from his career, his age, fighting back from a serious injury and trying to lead a mediocre Los Angeles Lakers team back to the playoffs. That's already been enough motivation for the 35-year-old, but there could be more.

For the past few weeks, Bryant has had several changes to his Twitter avatar, whether it's a picture of himself or one of a bear. On Saturday morning, Bryant changed his avatar to a picture of the number "1225":
Now, this could definitely mean several things, but I think comes down to these two only:

For one, it could be a shot at ESPN. ESPN held two rankings, listing all 30 NBA teams and another ranking every single player in the league. The Lakers were ranked No. 12 in ESPN's rankings. But what was a bigger surprise was Bryant's ranking in ESPN's #NBARank, where he fell from No. 6 all the way down to No. 25.

Another reason could be a hint towards Bryant's return date for this NBA season. Could "1225" mean the 25th of December, where he returns on Christmas Day? Now that would be pretty awesome to see.

Either way, they both make perfect sense for Kobe. The Black Mamba doesn't look like he's very close at all to returning on Opening Day of the 2013 season, but there's still no doubt that he could do it. However, I could see him playing it safe and returning around December.

But the shot at ESPN isn't far off either. In the past, Bryant has shown that he doesn't really give a damn about his ranking, but this year could be different. At 35 years old and five championship rings, it's hard to find motivation for the Black Mamba. Plus, when ranked behind the likes of Chris Bosh, I'd be pissed off too.

Either way, Bryant is here to prove everyone wrong as he looks to chase his sixth ring. 

This article was written by Josh Dhani. Follow him on Twitter here and read more of his work here


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