ESPN: Reigning NBA MVP Kobe Bryant will not have surgery on his right pinkie because recovery would take too long.

Bryant has played with damaged ligaments in the finger since February, but said Tuesday that he won’t have surgery after seeking opinions from hand specialists.

“When the doctors told me recovery from a procedure could be 12 weeks, I just decided now was not the time to have surgery,” Bryant said on the Web site kb24.com. “What it really came down to for me is that I just didn’t want to miss any time ‘punching the clock’ for the Lakers, given all we are trying to accomplish as a team this NBA season.”

Bryant averaged 28.3 points while playing in all 82 games despite injuring the finger Feb. 5 against the New Jersey Nets. The Lakers guard put off the surgery until after the Beijing Olympics, where he helped lead the United States to the gold medal.

“My understanding is he had two options: He could get it repaired or he could not get it repaired,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told ESPN.com’s J.A. Adande. “I think he’s proven that he can play for long periods of time with the finger as it is. He did it from February through the middle of June. Then he did it all summer.

“We’re not concerned it’s anymore susceptible to injury. It was a personal decision. My understanding is it can be repaired at a later date. Maybe that’s something he’ll do for life beyond basketball. It was a personal decision that we support.”

Continue reading ‘Breaking News: Kobe to Forego Surgery on Pinky’

  • varsityoptimism

    i <3 kobz…
    what a champion.

  • e-bucher

    ewww

  • http://ld2k.com LD2k

    I say he knows best…

    I also say Kobe deserves it. He’s a (bleeping) warrior.

  • e

    i see his logic, and as happy as i am to know that he wont miss any playing time, i cant help but be worried about..hopefully its not so bad anymore

  • mp or mplakers

    stupid stupid decision….

    the lakers have bynum, gasol, odom, and fisher to carry the team until kobe’s return. those shoulders are big and they can handle the load.

    it’s puzzling how kobe is talking about building camaraderie during camp but, everybody on that team should already know where kobe stands. Kobe being in camp, while not participating, can still have a good influence through his vocal leadership.

    kobe should have taken time off to have surgery. first, it gives him extra rest after a grueling summer of basketball combined with going to the 6th game of the nba finals. second, his shooting pinky is fixed and healed 100 percent. not 80 not 90 not 75 but, back to normal.

    from what i understand, he would have only been out 6-8 weeks. that’s 1 and a half to 2 months from now. that would have been a return at full health at the end of october or mid november. it still would have been real early in the season.

    some of you will call him a warrior for making his decision but, he is our franchise and he is thirty years old now. it’s time he starts making better decisions about his health.

  • 8KB24LAL

    trying to get another MVP award??? sacraficing his personal needs for team bonding? thats a good way to start

  • daboss1849

    What a warrior. We need everyone on team to sacrifice this year. No more made up injuries LO and Luke…

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #50187 Will Be Quoted Here]

    “What a warrior”. You guys won’t be saying that if he gets whacked on that hand that causes him to miss 12 weeks during the middle or possibly end of the year.

  • ShortDiezel

    WTF!!

    I commend Kobe on his motives as it is yet again a reflection of his commitment to the TEAM, BUT he is misguided in his decision.

    If he wants to do what is best for the team, it is for him to be 100% Healthy even if that means missing a couple of games. What if he hurts it again during the middle of the season? He needs to look at the big picture, and having him healthy now will only help them in their title run.

  • FT

    idk if its smart of him to not have surgery but i do know that he was smart to say he doesnt want have the surgery on company time, something shaq didnt do, when he waited so long to have the surgery on his big toe!

  • Shane Bien

    Best Decision Kobe could have made.

    Kobe knows that no season is guaranteed, and he is taking nothing for granted.

    12 weeks puts Kobe missing close to 1/4 of the season.

    Lakers haven’t had the most durable roster the last few years, so to say others can hold it down while he is gone is naive.

    If last season proved ANYTHING, its that you need HCA throughout the playoffs and Finals to give yourself the BEST shot at winning a ring.

    Without 24 the first 15-20 games, good luck in April, May and June

  • xtro

    Heart of a Warrior!!!!!

  • DCLAKER

    KINGKOBE is his name.

  • kaynam24

    [Comment ID #50183 Will Be Quoted Here]
    stupid??? and who r u again ur nobody obviously u dont know how he feels… its his body n his decision….

  • yellowpurplefever

    Good decision Kobe> 12 weeks to recover “NO THANKS”. Its a pinky people, just tape it up play. In time the ligament gonna be like a loose or broken rubberband and holding together with tapes for placement. This is not a displacement or avulsion of the joint of a bone, its a “chip”. Shooter uses digit 2,3,4 to control the ball when releases and digit 1 and 5 uses as an assistant or a guide. I know he’ll be fine, just watch out for “dirty” players like Bell, old man Brown, Posey and Bowen to name a few. Stay healthy, Go Lakers!!

  • Salty

    [Comment ID #50191 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Well, even if he did go for the surgery, it would have occurred right now. So the recovery time wouldn’t cost him two months during the season, and instead a couple of games at the start at most.

  • Salty

    I’m sorry, I apparently suck at math. Ignore my comment. =D

  • Ballin ’08

    U guys are Sucking KOBE’s ba$ketball$ to much on this one. First off I’m a huge Laker/Kobe fan…but the fact is he should have been having that surgery done right after he got his gold medal…That’s like ancient history now it happened so long ago. He knew that…The surgery would have done more harm than good…Now like someone else mentioned he’s vulnerable to making it worse…So say “Wtf did u wait so long”..instead of…”Wow Kobe ur so awesome.” Not a good move….

  • lakrfan4life

    [Comment ID #50198 Will Be Quoted Here]

    will do…

    but seriously, kobe shoulda gotten it, if hes 100% by december, just imagine all of those wins piling up afterward, and the lakers would still get 1st, but maybe no homecourt in the finals…

    the lakers could hold up with drew and pau, and possibly lamar, get a good amount of wins, not in first, but still within 1-6th place dont forget about our azn magic johnson, he’ll save us too

  • Geloman

    I believe has no confidence that his team can hold the fort without him. Without Kobe and with a 100% Bynum in the lineup, the Lakers are still a playoff team.

    Kobe needs to be 100% healthy. It’s obvious his shooting has been affected since he got hurt. It showed in the later part of the playoffs and Olympics.

    Now that he’s older, he’s not as quick and explosive as he used to be so He can’t rely on strong finishes and dunks all the time. He needs to rely on his shooting more. With that dead pinky, his shooting is sporadic at best.

    His team needs him to get surgery now!

  • http://thelakersnation.com kb24 4life

    when i read the title i was like omg.. no way
    but when i read kobe´s reasons.. i thought it was a good decision

    i was happy to see kobe´s enthusiasm about this team, we will
    win it all this yearr!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • Geloman

    I think his wife should cut his finger off while he’s sleeping. Hahaha.

  • Freshh

    It obviously doesn’t bother him,

    09!

  • Lakers 24 7

    [Comment ID #50188 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Whacked or not, Kobe’s finger is already in bad condition. Just cuz he gets hit on his finger doesn’t mean he’ll miss games. He’s been playing through the pain all season, and he will STILL play through it whether it gets whacked or not, therefore he is a WARRIOR!!!!

  • E-ROC

    Just have the damn surgery already. I’m quite sure the Lakers will at least play .500 ball if miss a couple of games during the regular season. Get the surgery done.

  • http://www.myspace.com/androsaysitsok androsays

    i’m sure everybody who has guarded kobe since the injury has taken a swipe or two at it, and i’m sure it’s been hit on more than one occasion, and he still tore it up (with the exceptions of the first few games right after injuring it)

    its his body, and if he thinks it feels right he should play, i think its a great decision.

    i mean its not like he’s busting a shaun merriman or anything

  • DCLAKER

    Geloman,I agree he’s gettin’ older but he’s still explosive,alot of players aren’t prepared to play the game like this guy. I wish he get the surgery too but 12 weeks is toooooo long for this team if they’re tryin’ to get PJ his 10th ‘Chip and Kobe’s 4th (Forget all that “1st without Shaq CRAP”).

    This is BLESSED to have both Pau and Bynum,especially after AB’s injury but without KB WE’RE ROSTED ’til he’s fully healed,2 months and a 1 or 2 week(s)….NO WAY!

    Bynum will step up,Pau will…Sasha’s our best shooter…DF’s leadership will guide’em but so far…the rest,LO has to play damn near all-star caliber (whether Kobe out or not) or he’s traded and the same for Jordan he has NO choice but to play BEYOND his potential.

    Sun Yue -Young but he’ll benefit from DF and KB…and Cp3 likes’em

    Josh Powell – another youngin’ but he’s our X-factor,he’ll be the surprise of the season…checkout some NC State highlights.

    Mihm – ???????????????????????

    Vlad – everybody on this site knows what I feel needs to be done about’em……..

  • abs

    What a bad bad decision that will result in long term damage…

  • Lakers in 09!!

    Kobe’s a Warrior!

  • DCLAKER
  • ignard

    hey guys, i have the same injury as Kobe, had my surgery in March and I swear to you it still hasn’t healed yet. I’ve been telling my friends that if he was going to play in the olympics that he SHOULDN’T have the surgery because that 6 to 12 weeks crap is some BS! Trust me. But then again I don’t have the resources that he does so………….
    Glad he choose to wait.

  • Geloman

    I just hope he doesn’t cut his career short with nerve damage and possibly affecting his whole hand. If it was his left, I would say forget the surgery. But it’s his shooting hand we’re talking about. I mean we need his shooting hand when the Lakers are in a position for a clutch shot or something of that nature.

    I hope you’re making the right decision Kobe. I mean I’m not looking at just the upcoming season. I’m looking at the rest of his career. He’s still in his prime. We don’t want to throw that away with an injury that doesn’t want to go away.

  • Ko8e_f@n

    just a bad decision. :|

    i’m a huge kobe fan (looks at my name), but him sitting down not only gives him ample time to rest, but also gives the bench (sun yue, sasha, etc. – whoever gets signed) a chance to show their games.

  • Geloman

    [Comment ID #50216 Will Be Quoted Here]

    True that. I would think Lamar would step and play like an allstar the way he always does when Kobe is out.

    LO,Pau and AB and the rest of the guys can hold the fort while Kobe’s out.

    Man I hope Kobe doesn’t make it worse later in the season. I’d hate the Laker doctors to tell Kobe he needs surgery real bad during the regular season. There goes our playoff hopes.

  • Paul

    [Comment ID #50217 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I agree fully.

  • Smush Walton

    I think Kobe is making a mistake.

    The Lakers need him to be 100% for the playoffs so it seems better to take the necessary steps to make that happen.

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #50206 Will Be Quoted Here]

    No he did not play through the pain ALL 82 games. He got hurt in February and only played through the pain half a season.

    I’m not saying he’s going to miss any games because of this BUT IF HE DOES, it sounds you’re one of the fools that would rather have him miss games during the middle/end of the season as opposed to the beginning of the year. That thinking makes no sense. Hmm, would I rather miss 12 weeks at the beginning of the year or in the middle/end of the year???

  • BEC

    I think Kobe should get the surgery and come back 100% but he’s not making a mistake, its not a bad decision.

    This injury happened long time ago and Kobe has shown and PROVEN he can still play at a high level with the injury. Its been said its not going to get any worse. The only thing this pinky can do is hurt his jumpshot, but that has never been the case. His jumpshot is still one of, if not the best in the game even with the injury. In the playoffs Kobe still shot 48% from the field, so the pinky isnt hurting his game.

    This injury isn’t going to get any worse. Its already been whacked a bunch of times, a little sting is all he feels. He won’t miss any time.

    Everybody just needs to relax. Kobe’s a smart man. He has his own personal staff of people who sole job is to monitor his health. If surgery was that important and that necessary for the finger, it wouldve happened when he first got it, but he has shown he can still play with it.

  • Lakers 24 7

    [Comment ID #50221 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Well the way you responded, you sounded like you thought Kobe having the surguery would be a bad idea. I don’t want him missing games either, but I’m saying, Kobe’s played through the pain for half the season AND the olympics, so even if he gets whacked, it won’t make no difference cuz he’s already in pain, so it wouldn’t make sense if he sits out.

  • DCLAKER

    Let’s put it like this and IGNARD said he had the same injury and so did I but it was my “No.1″ finger and it will never be the same,let’s say I’m over 30 and injured my finger when I was 20,I still can’t ball my hand into a solid fist without some sort of stiffness in it.

  • jonathan

    it shows the intellect of a college graduate.

  • T-Mack

    Kobe is the man plain and simple!

  • lakersftw

    why didnt kobe just do the surgery RIGHT AFTER the finals??

  • DCLAKER

    I’m not trippin’ off no finger,Kobe knows he can just focus on defense more now that AB has developed very rapidly and Pau,well,ASK YAO…but what about the rest (except DF)?

  • DCLAKER
  • PauKobeBynumOdomDynasty

    for the first time in my life…im not having a good feeling about wut Kobe’s doing

    If any others follow sports, this same thing happened to Tom Brady, and even Manu.

    I think he shud go for surgery…Bynum Odom and Gasol could have covered up the damage

    If we want to win the title…this guy needs to be in tip-top shape, no excuses

  • PauKobeBynumOdomDynasty

    one more thing…………

    all of u losers who want a trade to happen…ur just plain selfish

    this team is awesome, u cant get any better than what we have here (and Kobe isnt even 100%)

    just STFU watch these Lakers roll
    anyone else agree?

  • two0one7

    Posted by another member on CL:

    I have to clear some things up:

    1- To the people saying the injury affected Kobe’s shooting. What the hell?
    Before the injury: 45.8% After the injury: 46.0% Playoffs: 47.9%

    2- To the people saying i hope he doesn’t reaggravate or reinjure it. Huh?
    What is he going to do, retear a ligament that has ALREADY been torn?

    3- To the people saying i just hope this doesn’t affect his play. WTF?
    Before injury:
    47 Games
    28.0 PPG
    6.3 RPG
    5.2 APG
    After Injury:
    35 Games
    28.8 PPG
    6.3 RPG
    5.6 APG
    4- To the people saying i hope this doesn’t affect the team’s play or the people planning to blame it on him if the season doesn’t go how they want.
    Before injury:
    31-16
    After Injury:
    26-9
    Playoffs:
    14-7
    5- To the people saying his FG% only went up because he was taking better shots.
    Before Injury:
    3P-35.3% (84/238)
    After Injury:
    3P-37.3% (66/177)

    6- Why does it seem like the only person who has NOT been complaining about Kobe’s pinky is Kobe?
    Because it’s true, If Kobe isn’t complaining about it, why are you? Only he and the doctors know the seriousness of, and they’ve all given it a go.

    My point is, AFTER the injury is when Kobe won his first MVP. AFTER the injury is when he had the best playoffs he has ever had up until the Finals. Kobe knows what is best for him as do the doctors, so don’t continue to use Kobe not getting surgery as an excuse to bash him and tell him how stupid his decision making is. IN KOBE I TRUST.

  • LAKERNATION

    [Comment ID #50188 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Seriously man. That is absolutly true. All we have to do is trust him on this.

  • Lakerboi

    Maybe he thinks Bynum will not be 100 percent, and with both of them out, it could cost them with the west being so deep this year.
    Remember that last year it took 50 games just to get 8th spot and Blazers and Houston just got better. I don’t agree, but respect his decision. Now that he will play all 82 games (cross our fingers), we will run over teams this year.

    I love his love for the game; glad his a LAKER!!

  • http://www.thelakersnation.com Fred A.

    This would be a dynamite trade if this happen:

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=1016~2027~3437~2172~3197~3206&teams=29~5~29~13~5~13&te=&cash=
    LOOKS OF IT: :)
    Fisher/Farmer/Yue
    Bryant/Vujacic/Karl
    Odom/Ariza/Pavalic
    PGasol/MGasol/Powell
    Bynum/Mihm/Mabenga
    Crawford and Mitchel to the D-League

  • Yash
  • Yash

    Change the title to Kobe chooses not to undergo surgery

  • kobe4ever

    here’s some of the scouting report whenever Kobe got hit on the hand “it would swell up, forcing him to adjust his shot in the middle of the game” damn first of all he is the GREATEST f’ing changing his release in the middle of a game everytime it swells up and gives him trouble but OMG HE’S NOT GETTING THE SURGERY…D@MN…i wanted him to be at 100% and show the world whats up. but…then again he is good enough to pull it off w/4 fingers in his shooting hand.

  • Ignard

    Again, I have the exact injury Kobe has and it felt better BEFORE my surgery, maybe I have a crappy doctor but all I know is that even if Kobe had the surgery after the finals he’d still be recovering and would have missed training camp or he still would have had to wrap up his finger. Like DCLAKER said, his finger will never be the same no matter what.

  • Alex

    id rather have kobe go through the surgery, even if it costs the lakers that much.

    when it comes down to it, a persons health>a team accomplishment IMO

  • Lakers 24 7

    [Comment ID #50241 Will Be Quoted Here]

    His finger may never be the same, but atleast he won’t have anymore pain, and it won’t be a distraction, ya know? But I’m cool with any decision Kobe makes, he’s a baller either way, if he thinks he can play through it, then let it be.

  • blackmamba24

    merriman, ocho cinco, now kb24/blackmamba/doberman… well to say outta the 3 kobe is smart and knows what he’s doing and whats for the best..he’s that confident..he’s a true warrior! see you at the parade this year!

  • blackmamba24

    P.S. the life and times of kobe bean bryant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpnJcRl-oig

  • Sako

    Picture this. Last game of the season, Kobe goes for a steal, finger gets caught on a jersey, out for playoffs. What happens? We’re fuked! thats what

  • joseph

    what an id!ot… miss the summer camp fool so that when the 82 games begin you’re on top of your game.. man! these fakers will have tons of excuses the next time kobe and company fall short in the playoffs or in the finals… i expect them to be in full strength against the C’s bynum’s back, kobe with no injuries a beef up gasoft and lamar and the always reliable fish. so once and for all these fakers would shut the hell up!

  • skim.

    he wudnt make this decision without thinking about it for a really long time. this is what he feels is the best decision for the team so he is doing it. he’s been in the game for a long time im sure he knows about his own body and the goodness of the lakers better than anyone who left comments. i say if he thinks its best i think its best go lakers.

  • zgum

    [Comment ID #50202 Will Be Quoted Here]

    well said…

  • BEC

    [Comment ID #50188 Will Be Quoted Here]

    [Comment ID #50248 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Picture this. Kobe gets surgery, hes back 100%. Last game of the year, kobe goes for the steal, finger gets caught in the jersey, re-tears finger, out for the playoffs, and lakers are f-ed up. That can happen too.

    Just because Kobe gets the surgery doesnt mean his freaking finger is going to turn into a super human finger made out of steel that can’t break, tear, or get hurt again.

    This injury can’t get any worse, its already torn. As long as he can play at his high level, surgery can wait.

  • Freshh

    or you can look at it like,
    He played MVP type ball even with his pinkie being injured
    and was just going through a slump.

    They’re arguments both ways

  • domidomdomz

    Maybe the pinky is just fine all this time.

  • long legga lai

    dont sweat it you noobs. its just a pinky injury. he’ll live. if you played basketball, you’ve probably had this happen to you once or twice. its really not that big of a deal..but then again, the media is retarded.

  • S-Quire

    I think Kobe played enough with it to figure out that he’s risking more by getting the surgery than not. Keep in mind the West is uber-competitive and the Lakers want to avoid the “Superbowl Curse” (let down follow-up season after going to the finals and losing) by having a great record and an easier path through the West playoffs.

  • DCLAKER
  • MILO

    he should have gotten it done right after the olympics, i dont know what the fu-ck took him so long to make his decision!!! stubborn!

  • DCLAKER

    Off topic but a good artile on THE NEWEST LAKER…Josh Powell!

    http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/080815gettingtoknowpowell.html!!

  • Zen Master

    [Comment ID #50187 Will Be Quoted Here]

    You won’t be saying that if you were to suffer some nasty injuries yourself. Ankle injuries can be bothersome if the sprained ankle is not a strengthened one or if the degree of sprain was severe. NBA players have money, why don’t they go buy some fancy equipments that help them strengthen their ankles. Those things make a tremendous difference. On the sidelines for 1 month from a severe sprain… or up in a few days from the same severity but with stronger ankles.

  • ab4sure

    Kobe knows best??? Please spare us that we should trust kobe. If kobe would go to Phil and ask him what is best for the team??? .. Phil would say go get the surgery.. we can survive without you. This is all about Kobe and a terrible decision. He also waited too long in making the decision.. Sounds like he wasn’t getting the surgery all along. We have Bynum and Ariza coming back. Bad Decision. But what the hell… Nobody tells Kobe what to do.

  • jonathan

    he still can’t trust his teammates. Bynum, Gasol, Odom, Vujacic, Fish would be an 8th seed in the West, so, why not take a few weeks off, come back 100%? don’t risk it. HS grad education – what an idiot.

  • Laker Realist

    This is Kobe Nation!!!!Kobe lovers unite. No matter what he does, everyone will be “ooh he’s a warrior” or “good decision” or “Kobe knows best”

    Look.

    He doesn’t have some rinky-dink HMO doctor. He’s got a team of top notch specialist and they have been advising him. He knows the severity and risks at hand. I’m telling you the injury is probably not as bad as the public thinks. The injury is not severe, he’ll still be able shoot 25 times per game and smash the opposition. He can still get treatment for it and perhaps have it heal natuarlly.

    BUT….Had he gone for surgery, the Lakers could keep the ship straight until he returned. And, considering that half the league makes the playoffs, he’s not needed in October/November.

    But if he decides to get surgery in October…..look out because Laker nation will have a fit.

  • DCLAKER

    Ab4sure…Put down the haterade,please.Remember CHINA LOVES KOBE,just like “Jay Loves Japan”(good album,RIP DILLA).

    …plus,you NEED TO HATIN’ ON VLAD.How the hell do you hate THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS.Now I hope he goes over seas in about 4 or 5 yrs. so you can understand about RESPECT.

  • daboss1849

    [Comment ID #50283 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Spell grade correctly before calling a person an idiot, you moron!!!!!!!

  • jonathan

    [Comment ID #50334 Will Be Quoted Here]

    grad=graduate ignoramus