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Oh, Kobe Bryant missed practice Friday … wait, what?

Mar 12, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Hey, remember when Kobe Bryant stayed around after going 2 of 6 to close the game against the Heat including three wretchedly decided upon shots to prove how dedicated he was and work on the same wretchedly decided upon shots? And we all talked about how awesome it was that he was so committed to improving and so fiercely competitive and how it was a statement to the Heat that he would work harder?

Yeah, he skipped practice Friday.

Hidden quietly in Mike Bresnahan’s practice report was a delicate mention of Bryant missing practice a day after his little exhibition which held reporters breathless like they were in that scene from “Close Encounters of a Third Kind” when the aliens show up.  Because shooting jumpers at 11 p.m. looks totally different from doing it at 10 a.m.. Bryant was at practice, so he didn’t miss it for a personal reason. Phil Jackson said there was “no way” he would participate in practice after his late night session.  But the fact that Bryant missed practice could be for one of four reasons, conceivably.

1. Phil Jackson didn’t like his little stunt and held him out to make sure he didn’t exhaust himself, which is the equivalent of your mom excusing you from chores during your winter break freshman year of college because you went out drinking too much the night before. Sure, Bryant was working on his game, but he’s still having his mom get him out of work.

2. Bryant was exhausted after playing 40 minutes on Thursday night, then working on his shot for over an hour, then going to work in the weight room. It’s almost as if he’s not superhuman and that the body isn’t exactly snapping back at age 33. It’s entirely possible that he was dealing with some physical tweaks the day after that weren’t present when he was nailing 40-foot 3-pointers unguarded. Being hurt, regardless of what he did the night before, is a perfectly valid reason not to practice. But then, working out with an injury probably would have exacerbated or may have led to it, making the whole thing that much more unnecessary.

3. He didn’t feel like it. After all, we’re talking about practice. Not a game. Not a game, practice.

It’s not like Bryant needs practice, especially with the Zen Master shouting out the same things in March as he was in November. But what  the Lakers needed was to work on their team game. Things like passing. Specifically, passing to Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, when they’re being guarded by people like Chris Bosh, Erick Dampier, and Juwan Howard.  This isn’t a big deal, it just looks ridiculous after the little dramatic session Bryant put on that had everyone talking about how hard he wants to work.

Oh, he wants to work all right.

Just only on the things he wants to.

Of course, there’s a fourth reason reason Bryant could have missed practice. His parents were in Tokyo yesterday during the deadly earthquake and aftershocks that rocked Japan. His parents were evacuated but were unhurt. It’s possible Bryant had been dealing with that situation and simply didn’t feel up to practicing, which would be completely understandable. It just doesn’t seem likely, given all the variables.

  1. schoolboy834 - Mar 12, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    “He didn’t feel like it. After all, we’re talking about practice. Not a game. Not a game, practice.”

    uhm… Kobe Bryant isnt allen Iverson

  2. ramblingalb - Mar 12, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    Kobe shot after the game Tuesday, and missed practice Friday. What a train wreck, fact check a bit before writing your drivel.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 13, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      ramblingalb, just to clarify, Kobe shot after Thursday night’s loss to the Heat then skipped Friday practice.

  3. fiasco24 - Mar 12, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    I thought Kobe regularly skips practice. This is old news.
    Trying to find some fuel for the hate Matt Moore?

  4. rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 12, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    This isn’t a big deal, it just looks ridiculous after the little dramatic session Bryant put on that had everyone talking about how hard he wants to work.

    I find Matt Moore to be ridiculous for writing such a non- story.If Matt wanted to write something with credibility he would have done more research and he would see the The Zen Master letting Kobe run
    the practice on many occasions, he would also find that Kobe takes a helicopter to Staples because
    Dr. Buss doesn’t want his star sitting in traffic and having sore a knee for the game.These are the things you do for your star player and your star player plays with a broken index finger taped to his middle finger
    and goes out and win a championship, Matt you are misleading the general.

  5. tubal22 - Mar 12, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Is this a real story? Like on a real nbc blog?

    I know real sportswriters don’t write on here, but c’mon. I can’t stand Kobe. But this story is just stupid.

  6. omniusprime - Mar 13, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    Hey Matt Moore where the heck has your head been stuck the past months as Kobe regularly does not practice? Slow news day so you have to report on this nonstory? Kobe doesn’t practice Friday but the Lakers win Saturday. Yeah Kobe had a tough game but that happens even to the best. Don’t worry Kobe Bryant is the greatest basketball player in the world and the Repeat World Champion Lakers will Threepeat this June! Kobe will win this third straight NBA Finals MVP, without having to practice with the team.

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