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Kobe Bryant out of the All-Star Game

ESPN.com's Marc Stein has the report, essentially summarized in the headline.

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

There will be none of this sort of thing from Kobe Bryant in Sunday's All-Star Game.

The news will make a very happy man out of Lakers trainer Gary Vitti, and I'm sure most fans are on board as well. Having missed L.A.'s previous three games, sitting out Sunday's All-Star Game in Dallas essentially means 10 days off for Kobe Bryant. For him, it's the in-season equivalent to a few months at Club Med. (By the time the Lakers take the floor Tuesday against Golden State, Bryant may well be "glowing" like a man fresh from a mud bath, still carrying the cucumber slices for his eyes.)

Given how little effort most players put into the game until the final minutes when Kobe almost certainly would have long been on the sidelines, I considered the risk of participation minimal. Yes, technically anything can happen. It is a basketball game, after all, with athletes running to-and-fro. Why, people can get hurt just crossing the street... except doing so is probably more dangerous for the average citizen than Sunday's run will be for the NBA's stars. But assuming he's on track to play Tuesday night (Phil Jackson said Wednesday Kobe could have played against the Jazz, if he needed to), had Kobe decided his obligation to fans and the NBA required a token appearance Sunday, I wouldn't have argued.

Still, the only 100% guaranteed, iron-clad way to avoid re-aggravating the ankle in the All-Star Game is to not play, making Bryant's choice obviously the more sensible one. His presence in the lineup would only have served to terrify Lakers fans anyway, so it's not like he's robbing that particular demographic of enjoyment.

It will just be up to Pau Gasol and Shannon Brown to do the faithful proud.