After the Lakers' 101-89 win Monday night over the Spurs, Kobe Bryant met with the media and discussed for the first time the left ankle injury forcing him to miss both tonight's game and Saturday's win over the Blazers.
"I can't push off, it's that simple. I can't move," Bryant said of the bum wheel. Still, Bryant hasn't yet decided if he'll play in Utah Wednesday night or not, reserving judgment until game day. As for the All Star break, it's anybody's guess. "If the All-Star Game was today, I couldn't play," he said. Ah, but the game isn't until Sunday, it was noted. Will he be better by then? "I don't know what it's going to look like Sunday," Kobe smiled. "I'm not clairvoyant."
(Not yet, at least. Having mastered post footwork with Hakeem Olajuwon last summer, my guess is he'll fill that hole in his game this offseason.)
Kobe also tried to shrug off talk of his warrior mentality, and the corresponding ability and willingness to play through damn near anything. "I'm not an idiot. I'm not going to run through walls just to run through walls," he said. "If it's an injury where I feel like I can play through it and have it heal while I play, then I'll play. If it's the type of injury where it'll get worse while I play, then I won't."
How will he know he's ready? "If I can move and get to the basket," Kobe said, "I'm good."
"Absolutely, that's something we talked about, is that we need to step up and perform. It doesn't put any pressure on me to come back early. I can take my time and make sure it's healthy."