Press-Telegram: Kobe Bryant was a no-show at practice Saturday morning, earning a day off to rest and recover from an upper respiratory illness. He was termed “probable” to play in tonight’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center.

Bryant played spectacularly at times while scoring 37 points and recording seven assists in the Lakers’ victory Friday night over the Milwaukee Bucks. He was especially effective while scoring 16 points in the decisive fourth quarter.

Coach Phil Jackson has seen Bryant play through illnesses in the past, including Dec. 4 in the Lakers’ win over the Minnesota Timberwolves and, more famously, in Game 5 of the 2002 Western Conference finals against the Sacramento Kings.

“I think Gary (Vitti, the Lakers’ athletic trainer) could speak to (Bryant’s discomfort) better than I can, but I do know that if it’s not something that’s an extremely high fever, he can perform,” Jackson said. “He was supposedly not febrile.”

Bryant complained of headaches and feeling weak, but was not feverish.

“I think energy-wise, it’s just a matter of focus,” Jackson said of Bryant’s ability to play through an illness.

  • Edward

    Suit up, play a few minutes, and let the rest of the team take care of the game. Kobe needs to rest so he can be at maximum health. Take no risks.

  • BEC

    Hes playing. If he has the slightest possibility to play he will. If he can just walk hes playing. Not much can keep him from playing.

  • lalball81

    We get it, lol.

  • http://lakers.com k0be da 1 andonly

    If he’s that sick, rest his ass . And we can show him our team can take care of business, with him not playing. AND THAT CAN ONLY MAKE HIM HAPPY

  • MILO

    There is no doubt in my mind that he’ll play.Now on a unrelated subject i think that if Kobe can manage to average 8-10 asist’s per game this season then he will really be a great candidate for MVP.As for the scoring title yes it will help, but the most important thing is to be able to get the rest of the team involved.One last factor will be that the Lakers end the season with 50+ win’s.KOBE DESERVES THE MVP ALREADY LET’S HOPE THAT THE LEAGUE DONT LOOK THE OTHER WAY

  • http://mydeek.orgnigga PhantoM

    Kobe shud of got MVp the year he did 81..
    anyways hell play,
    but i dont want to burn him out, …

    Anyways lets take down dem grizzz

  • http://mydeek.orgnigga PhantoM

    btw phantoms rule!.
    :)

  • http://mydeek.orgnigga PhantoM

    bynum hurt…

    fyjakksakk!.

  • DCLAKER

    Give Kobe the night off just to see how well some of the other guys who don’t start do when our starters are hurt.Last season it was LO and LW(WALTON)who stepped up when Kobe was hurt for couple of games,now it’s Farmar’s,Crittenton,Vlad,Cook’s(my fault we traded him)and Kwame(before he’s traded).IT’S STEP UP TIME!