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Kobe foolishly refuses MRI on ankle, says he will play

Apr 26, 2011, 10:13 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Hornets - Game Four Getty Images

Kobe Bryant is going to play Tuesday night in Game 5. Nobody really ever doubted that — if his leg was attached he was going.

We laud Kobe for that attitude, we like our athletes to be warriors.

But Kobe also refused X-rays and an MRI on his injury, according to ESPN Los Angeles’ Land o’ Lakers blog.

He doesn’t want the information on what might be wrong. He doesn’t want to hear an answer to the question, it may be the kind of news where the doctor would sit him, so he’s just going to play. Regardless.

Which may backfire. For Kobe and for the Lakers in a Game 5 that will go a long way to deciding the series.

Kobe didn’t speak to the media Monday and all Phil Jackson would say is his star guard is going to play. He sprained his ankle on a fluke play in the fourth quarter Sunday, running across the lane on defense and his toe just kind of caught on the court and his ankle twisted (after the game Kobe said it was more foot than ankle).

The Lakers would struggle without Kobe, but not as much as they will with a hobbling Kobe who keeps shooting despite missing because he can’t get elevation, who can’t defend Chris Paul (which would leave Derek Fisher and Steve Blake with the assignment).

The Lakers strength this series is inside. They don’t exploit it often enough (and Emeka Okafor stepped up last game for his best defensive effort) but the Lakers have that card. Whether they win Game 5 will largely depend on who wins that battle inside.

Kobe matters in this series, but if he plays through an injury that makes him a shadow of himself, it may be in a way he doesn’t want.

  1. hnirobert3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Foolishly? I don’t need to take an xray of my ankle to know it’s fine. Maybe it’s not bothering him as much as it did on Sunday.

  2. LPad - Apr 26, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    two things…

    First, if kobe didn’t play Fisher/Blake will still have to guard Paul. The problem of Chris Paul should be blamed on Lakers management and not Kobe’s injured ankle. Quick point guards have killed them for years, at some point you would think they would consider acquiring a quick point guard to help neutralize the problem instead of relying on an aging two guard.

    Second, Kobe’s a pro basketball player so he’s sprained his ankle millions of times throughout his life. He doesn’t need an MRI or an x-ray to tell him that he sprained it. Obviously, he doesn’t think it is as severe as the one he had in Dallas when he thought he broke his ankle. So, he rather spend his time rehabbing the ankle and getting ready for game 5 instead of getting tests that will confirm he sprained his ankle.

    • aboogy123456 - Apr 26, 2011 at 2:10 PM

      Great points, but I was so happy when they got Steve Blake for that specific reason. He is a quick point guard who is an underrated defender, and while he is pretty skinny, he can stay in front of most point guards. I really want to see him play 30 minutes a game in this series, I don’t think they are using him enough on D

  3. gilgameth - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    OMG who cares…I hope they lose so all the Laker fans can say that it was because Kobe was hurt, and not because Gasol has been catatonic all year, Artest’s an absolute question mark every minute of every day, Fisher is still starting for some reason, Bynum is a weak sister and always has been, Odom is overrated and married to a D-Lister (this is the Lakers, Yo! He should have at least been able to pull the other one that is not Kim), and they have no bench anymore, NONE. Gosh, it sounds like the Lakers aren’t that great of a team, this year anyways…

    • aboogy123456 - Apr 26, 2011 at 1:05 PM

      This is their bench lineup:

      Steve Blake
      Shannon Brown
      Matt Barnes
      Lamar Odom
      Gasol / Bynum

      No Bench? You are a joke, tell me one bench that is better than the lakers.

      • andyhr17 - Apr 26, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        Dallas….and that’s without putting any thought into the answer to think of more.

      • aboogy123456 - Apr 26, 2011 at 2:13 PM

        Dallas’s bench is good but a bit overrated. Whenever they play the lakers the starting lineups are relatively equal but the Lakers bench always wins it. Lakers have a bench with more starpower, better defense, and more clearly defined roles. Jason terry is a punk too.

      • gilgameth - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:39 PM

        Wow. Hey you forgot Theo Ratliff and Joe Smith. They were good 100 years ago…The C’s,for one, have a better bench, even though it was better before the trade deadline. I’d say that NO’s bench is looking alot better than LA’s here lately mainly because their bench is starting now, Dallas, even Chicago…but this is silly. call me what you like, but you Laker homers know it’s true. What are they getting out of Blake/Brown/Barnes these days? Huh, yeah, I know, not much…I guess Odom is coming off the bench, but I barely consider it since Bynum is nursing his booboos every other week and big L is reinserted into the starting five…okay, Luke Walton is a force, a mighty mighty force, I’ll give you that, but you didn’t even mention him.

    • - Apr 26, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      Raging Motard gilgameth is.

  4. bearsandjazz - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Ok how about a different scenerio that is more likely… about he’s a big faker trying to build up the drama like Jordan did in his day. The injury didnt look like much yet he was so dramatic about the pain…yet strangely he wouldnt come off the court until Phil pretty much made him. When he did come back his first move to the basket didnt appear at all like a guy with a “Injured Ankle”, He didnt have it checked or retapped, he’s a drama queen trying to be Jordan. He left on crutches and refused and MRI. Mmmmk…So then he’s going to come out in dramatic fashion and still the show in Game 5 and he will be lauded for playing with an injured ankle….Then I’ll throw up because you suckers will soak it up and think he’s a god. He’s doing nothing more than playing to the crowd. He was getting schooled so what better way to not have to guard the guy whp’s schooling you than to fake an injury. Face it people he’s a big faker who likes the sympathy when he’s hurt and the praise when he plays hurt….I promise you he will show no signs of being hurt tonight….

  5. schoolboy834 - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    I doubt real Laker fans would make an excuse saying that kobe was hurt, considering that the hornets are without david west and traded away their best two guard in marcus thorton. I doubt anyone in the Lakers organization would make an excuse like that, unlike Doc Rivers of the boston celtics. Lost much respect after his “Never lost without his starting 5” comment…

  6. savocabol1 - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    I think it is “foolish” to believe that he in fact did not have an xray/MRI done. Could be a ploy to try to hide information that was uncovered. Just sayin.

  7. florida727 - Apr 26, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    I had a partial achilles tear once and a doctor friend of mine told me that an MRI might tell me the “extent” of the tear, but essentially, from a healing perspective, would only be told put it in a boot, stay off it for 6-8 weeks, start biking when able and take it slow… it’ll heal on its own. My friend told me if I’m just dying to know if it’s a 50% tear or a 70% tear, go ahead and blow the $400-$500 on the MRI… otherwise, let it heal itself (they didn’t operate on partial achilles tears when mine happened). I’m back playing ball again.

  8. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 26, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    I agree it was foolish. It would have fit Kobe and Phil’s plan to lull the Hornets into a false sense of security better if he had taken it and they could say how bad it was. Oh well, Kobe and Phil know what they are doing and how far to push the ruse.

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