Sunday was a busy one for Kobe Bryant. First, fueled by a red hot start -- he'd finish with 27 points as the Western Conference held on against a furious rally from the East -- Kobe passed three legends on the all-time list for All-Star Game scoring: Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and with a fast break dunk just past the seven minute mark of the third quarter, Michael Jordan.
Not a bad evening's work.
While eclipsing M.J. is certainly a big story, the points Kobe needed to tie him were potentially more impactful. They came on free throws following a hard-particularly-for-the-All-Star Game foul across the bridge of his nose from Dwyane Wade on the left baseline. It drew blood and like every pop to the nose, looked pretty painful. Bryant was able to stay in the game, and showed no ill-effects down the stretch as he admonished Miami's LeBron James for passing on shots that could have tied the game.
After, though, he left for evaluation before speaking with the media. A CT scan revealed a nasal fracture. He'll be evaluated again today in L.A. by ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. John Rehm.
The Lakers don't play until Wednesday, when Minnesota comes to town. There's currently nothing to suggest Bryant won't play. Similar injuries have forced some players to wear a mask, and I suppose that's possible here, depending on the severity of the break. I'm sure we'll know more after the follow up appointment.
In other ASG news, as expected Andrew Bynum played very short minutes after receiving a Synvisc injection in his surgically repaired right knee. The procedure, designed to add some lubrication to the joint, isn't expected to keep Bynum from missing any time.