Kobe Bryant Refuses to Call in Sick?
This is that level of crazy I’ve talked about in the past, the requisite amount of insanity it takes to prevail in the NBA. Kobe Bryant did whatever it took to come back from head, nose and neck injuries, even if it meant taking a fast-tracked route through the NBA’s new concussion policy, just so he could participate in a midweek game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Feb. 29. He did so after sustaining the injuries because he didn’t feel like coasting in the All-Star Game. Where’s the logic in all that?
Perhaps it comes from the connection that championship moments in June don’t usually happen without carrying this type of mindset in February. Maybe one day this all will come back on him, when he’s old and arthritic and unable to remember which day of the week it is. Something tells me he won’t mind as long as he can still feel the texture of his championship rings.
He didn’t have to do all this. Minnesota’s Kevin Love sat out the game after catching a shot to the ribs Tuesday night, then feeling sick Wednesday. No one ridiculed him. It’s been a draining season, and the Timberwolves were in the middle of three games in as many nights. Rest up, kid.
Yet Bryant felt compelled to play. Not just play, but play wearing a mask to protect the nose that Dwyane Wade had tenderized, a mask that Bryant said “felt like I had a sauna on my face.” That was the initial injury we all noticed when Wade took that unnecessarily hard foul on Bryant in the All-Star Game. Blood was dripping from the nose.