Kobe is one tough S.O.B… but we knew that.

ESPN: Kobe Bryant knows what people are saying.

He knows what kinds of questions he’s going to get every night from the media pests.

He hears it all and, as always, refuses to listen.

“If I can walk, I’m playin’,” Bryant said late Wednesday night, hobbling down the hallway at American Airlines Center at a strained post-game speed more commonly associated with his brittle coach.

“You know that.”

Even walking is a chore for No. 24 these days, but Bryant had zero trouble convincing Phil Jackson to let him play against the Mavs less than 24 hours after back spasms knocked Kobe out of the previous night’s loss at San Antonio.

He’s been struggling for weeks with a mangled index finger on his shooting hand and has suddenly been forced to start stealing from Steve Nash’s playbook, as seen in Dallas when Bryant spent the entire second quarter laid out on towels near the Lakers’ bench. Yet he reacts with Raja Bell-level “I don’t know this kid” indignation when someone has the temerity to ask: Why not just take a week or two off to let your body heal for the long run?

“Why would I want to do that?” Bryant says.

Continue reading ‘Battered and aching, Kobe stays steady on bumpy ride’