Tag: Kobe Bryant wrist

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant wants you to keep on doubting him


Six years ago, if Kobe Bryant dropped 48 points in a game, we called it Tuesday. It seemed like nothing out of the ordinary. There were a couple highlights on SportsCenter, his fantasy owners patted themselves on the back, and then we pretty much moved on because we saw this all the time.

But in 2012, Kobe’s wrist is supposed to hurt too much, he’s too old, and his Lakers trying to evolve the offense away from him toward Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. The Lakers are no longer the favorites to represent the West in the NBA finals. They are on the downslope, their leader no longer capable of carrying them to the promised land.

Kobe eats that stuff up.

He dropped 48 on the Suns and it’s news now. No guy in the league for 16 years has ever scored that many points. For Kobe it’s just another chance to prove you wrong. Check out his post-game quote, via friend of this site Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times Lakers Blog.

“Not bad for the seventh best player in the league,” Bryant said in a shot at the ranking a panel of ESPN writers gave him this offseason.

Maybe Michael Jordan was the only other player who could take a perceived slight — like only being the seventh best player in the NBA or a playoff loss from six years ago to the Suns — and have it fuel him for a Tuesday night regular season game in January. Kobe remembers everything.

With that comes nights like Tuesday. He came out hot — 17 first quarter points on 8-of-11 shooting — and at that point coaches and teammates just get out of the way because when he is hot there are few like him. His confidence and belief in himself can still fuel monster games.

With it also comes nights like last week’s 6-for-28 shooting games. He was clearly ice cold and yet his confidence and belief in himself is such that he keeps shooting through the slump because he is sure next one will fall. There are no mid-game adjustments to pull back and feed the rock to others. It’s not how he is wired.

Like a character out of a classic Greek tragedy, Kobe’s greatest strength is also his weakness. Always has been, it’s just that before the injuries and miles piled up on his body, the downside didn’t show as much.

But go ahead and believe that he can’t keep up this 29.5 points per game scoring average while shooting 46 percent. Keep thinking he can’t carry the Lakers deep into the playoffs like he used to. That’s just more fuel to the fire for him.

Kobe not having experimental procedure on wrist after all

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant can’t go to Germany right now, and Germany is not coming to Los Angeles.

Kobe wanted to but is not going to have the experimental procedure done on his wrist that he had done on his knee this summer, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Of greatest importance, the German doctor whom Bryant trusts immensely, Peter Wehling, does not plan on coming to America to do his innovative “regenokine” or “orthokine” procedures that aim to reduce swelling, The Times has learned.

An overseas trip by Bryant looks out of the question because the only ample time for a German getaway is the All-Star break, and it’s a safe bet NBA Commissioner David Stern wants Bryant playing in Orlando that weekend instead of flying to Dusseldorf.

What does that mean? Kobe’s going to keep fighting through the pain, taking the needle before games and doing what he does. Which is scoring 27.8 points per game and dominating the Lakers offense — his percentage of possessions used when on the floor this season is far and away higher than anyone else in the league. He has taken 47 more shots than any other player in the Association this season.

The Lakers need to evolve to a spot where Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol get more touches because they are a mismatch for the opponent every night. But Kobe is still going to get his. And a few other people’s. Wrist pain or no.

Kobe getting pain killing injection in wrist before every game

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant passes around Houston Rockets Courtney Lee and Kyle Lowry during their NBA game in Los Angeles

Kobe Bryant’s wrist injury seems to impact him on the court in spurts. There bad shooting nights and some lost control on the dribble, then he’ll turn around and look like his old self for a stretch. In the Lakers loss to Denver Kobe shot 6-of-28 and there were questions, he bounced back with 14-of-29 for 37 points against Houston and the wrist is forgotten.

Well, by the fans.

Not by Kobe, who is taking massive steps to keep playing — including pain killing injections before every game and ice wraps after, reports Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.

He does not want to publicize all the details of his wrist, which is usable only because the bones were not moved permanently out of alignment without the ligament to hold them in place. But it’s now clear just how problematic the wrist is, and it’s fair to wonder where all this will take Bryant.

Bryant walked out of Staples Center on Tuesday night with something that looked like an oven mitten over his right hand and wrist. He wears an immobilizing brace over the wrist when off the court, meaning take-for-granted parts of life such as texting on his phone or zipping his fly become rather challenging.

What Lakers fans will get from Kobe is what they have gotten the last few years as he has played through injuries — moments of his old brilliance and nights where he is off but fights through it. He’ll be hot and cold, from game to game and even quarter to quarter.

Which is part of the reason Mike Brown is trying to evolve the Lakers offense to go to the post more first — allow Kobe to pick his spots to make plays rather than him having to initiate most of the offense for the team. Let Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol carry more of the load. That’s a process, Kobe still wants his shots and the ball is in his hands (it’s not like they have a traditional point guard).

Kobe’s not going to complain. But don’t for a second think this isn’t bothering him on every shot.

Kobe’s teammates expect him to play on Christmas Day

Kobe Bryant, Luke Walton

Of course Kobe Bryant is going to play on Christmas Day. He is essentially the Black Knight of Monty Python fame — cut off his arm and he says it’s a flesh wound.

So while he sat in street clothes wearing a splint Wednesday night, his teammates were not buying it.

Check out these quotes from the Lakers, via Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.

“He’ll cut his wrist off and play with one before he misses Sunday,” Fisher said late Wednesday night….

“I think Kobe will play,” Andrew Bynum said. “It takes a lot for him to miss a game.”

Does anybody really expect Kobe to sit the nationally televised opener out? Now, if he keeps shooting even though the torn ligament in his wrist has thrown his shot off is another thing all together. But he will play.