MEMPHIS, Tenn. – You basically never get to see the "human" Kobe Bryant on a basketball court. You did Saturday night.
Bryant was so unnerved by Andrew Bynum injuring his right knee that Bryant ceased being a basketball-greatness machine and became a regular guy worried about his friend.
It was particularly difficult because Bryant was the one who crashed into Bynum's right leg and left him lying there, howling in pain and fear to the point that Bryant felt guilty even getting up himself.
It just felt wrong for this to be happening again to the Lakers' 21-year-old little brother whose 2007-08 season had ended prematurely.
Word that Bynum hadn't heard any pop and could put some pressure on his leg as he left FedEx Forum gave Bryant some hope, but his eyes got wet just from talking about the whole thing again after the game.
"I can sit here and (utter expletivies) all night long. … I'm just really P.O.'d," Bryant said. "Because he doesn't deserve it. He has worked extremely hard."
It still was on when he narrowed his eyes and talked tough to Bynum afterward:
"When you get back, I don't want you coming back and being tentative. I want you to do what you were doing before you left. Don't forget what you were doing and come in here and try to feel your way out. We know what you're capable of doing, so when you get back and put back into the lineup, just pick right back up where you left off."
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