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Kobe Bryant says he will play Sunday. You expected otherwise?

Dec 22, 2011, 8:32 PM EDT

Clippers' Butler tries to strip the ball from Lakers shooting guard Bryant during NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles Reuters

Did anyone really expect a different answer?

Kobe Bryant downplayed his injury and told the media he would play on Sunday in the Lakers opener against the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day. Here are his quotes via the Los Angeles Daily News.

“I should be fine,” he said….

“It just swelled up,” he said. “It got real big. In the morning, it felt a little better and I tried practicing and I couldn’t do much. It still got worse. That’s why I knew we had something else going on. I’ll just try to take care of it. It’s always been in my nature to try to figure out a way to play.

“The injuries I’ve had I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to play through. I haven’t had injuries where it could get worse. I’ve had tears of ligaments and they’re just not there anymore, so it’s not like it’s going to get any worse. So, if you can play through the pain, if you can catch a basketball, you should be fine.”

Kobe said he would wear a padded brace during the game.

The question was never really if Kobe would play but how much the injury would impact his game. He has a torn lunotriquetral ligament, which stabilizes smaller bones on the outside of the wrist. On his shooting hand. Which means it’s going to hurt every time he shoots.

This is not the 2002 Kobe that attacks and gets his shots at the rim — last season Kobe averaged 20 shots per game and 16.5 of them came outside of three feet. Kobe is a jump shooter now. If this injury makes him a less effective jump shooter it hurts the Lakers.

Kobe his right, he has played through worse and adapted. He will adapt again. But at some point all these injuries on his shooting hand are going to add up and be an issue.

  1. progress2011 - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Playing in pain is admirable.

    However I would suggest he stop getting his ball blocked so hard, he gets knocked to the ground, which tore the ligaments in his shooting hand.

  2. blacksuperman83 - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Kobe won’t let you down

  3. dougmanoh - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    I hate Kobe

  4. eaglesandravens - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:25 AM

    Look at Caron Butler’s face in the pic….lol

  5. cowboyscanada - Dec 23, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Lets go get a Championship Kobe!!

  6. alston74 - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    he’s a great player,he always play through great difficulty, I know he will show up,

  7. ocgunslinger - Dec 23, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Love him or hate him this guy is a stud. Name another player in any sport that has played and led his team through the injuries he has sustained. You have to respect his tenacity and dedication.

  8. retief1954 - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Who gives a rat’s @55 what Kobe Bryant says or thinks? He’s a joke of a human being.

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