Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NBA Star Kobe Bryant Will Not Play For Final 2 Game

Shortly after proclaiming to reporters Sunday he would play the Lakers' final two regular-season games, guard Kobe Bryant sent a text message at 8 p.m. to LA Lakers Coach Phil Jackson that suggested otherwise. He sat out games last week at Denver and Minnesota to rest his finger, along with a swollen right knee and a sprained ankle. 
That means the next time Kobe Bryant suits up will be Game 1 of the first round of the NBA playoffs, an absence a team spokesman said was because of Bryant's four-month-old fractured right index finger. After the Portland game Kobe Bryant told reporters he planned on playing in Los Angeles' last 2 games this week to "sharpen up" against Sacramento and against the Clippers but the 12-time All-Star changed his mind Sunday night, relaying in a text message to head coach Phil Jackson that he "probably shouldn't play the last two games the way he felt," Jackson said. 
LA Lakers 12-time All-Star Kobe Bryant, who didn't talk to reporters after Monday's practice, has felt dinged up all season, playing through assorted injuries including a fractured right index finger, back spasms, a sprained left ankle and a sore right elbow. He recently sat out two games because of a swollen right knee, only to return Sunday in the Lakers' 91-88 loss to Portland. In that contest, Bryant scored 20 points on only eight of 23 shooting and missed two key free throws in the final minute. 
LA Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has also played through a strained right elbow, lower back spasms and a strained groin at various points of the season. Kobe Bryant ticked past the vaunted 1,000 career-games plateau this season and has played 44 playoff games over the course of the past two postseasons, in addition to his service to USA Basketball in the 2007 FIBA Americas championship in Las Vegas and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
He ended his consecutive games played streak of 235, the fifth longest among current NBA players at the time, because of his left ankle injury, missing five games plus the NBA All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium, a spectacle played in front of the largest crowd ever to witness a basketball game.

"A lot of it I think was Kobe's choices of shots, specifically referring to his guard's 8-for-23 shooting total Sunday, stretching Bryant's three-game shooting slump to a dismal 21-for-70 (30 percent). "He's taken some tougher than natural or normal type of shooting chances and I think that's contributed to his poor shooting." LA Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said.
Kobe Bryant has an avulsion fracture, in which a tiny fragment of bone tears away near a tendon or ligament. The former MVP has been slowed by the injury since he first broke it in a game against the Timberwolves in early December. Kobe Bryant hurt the top joint on the index finger on his right hand while reaching for a pass along with Minnesota's Ryan Gomes.

The defending champion LA Lakers are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Kobe Bryant was the highest vote getter in the Western Conference. He will be replaced by a hometown player — Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks. Also out is Allen Iverson, due to a family matter, to be replaced by the Knicks David Lee.

Kobe Bryant sprained his ankle when Lamar Odom stepped on his foot during the LA Lakers win over Charlotte. He sat out the next three games, saying his ankle was too sore to push off and run on. The Lakers still won those three games, with Pau Gasol leading the way and improved Lakers defense over all.

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