A great piece on Kobe and his, unfortunate, injured finger
O.C. Register: This is the time when Kobe Bryant’s fractured finger is supposed to be feeling better.
It most certainly is not feeling better, which is a problem considering this is also the time when the Lakers’ schedule gets much harder.
Asked after the Lakers’ loss to the Clippers late Wednesday night about his right index finger, Bryant revealed just how unhappy he is with it by uncharacteristically talking about it.
“It’s sore,” he said. Then he rushed to cover up his admission, saying quickly: “It’s OK. Play through it.”
That was all he said, but that was much more than he has been willing to say about it for the majority of these four weeks he has played hurt. Bryant has been swatting away reporters’ inquiries about the finger so consistently that it’s surprising he hasn’t begun giving the media the Mutombo finger wag. (Bryant’s bundled-up, splinted-to-stay-straight index finger is absolutely perfect for exaggerated wag, after all.)
Here at the four-week mark, let’s keep in mind that the diagnosis was a minimum of six weeks for the avulsion fracture to heal. Phil Jackson optimistically speculated at the time that Bryant might need the splint for only two weeks and be healed in four.
None of that stuff has happened, because Bryant keeps playing and keeps getting hit on the finger. He has played well enough to be named the NBA’s Western Conference Player of the Month for December – even though he fractured his finger on Dec. 11 – but on Wednesday night Bryant looked like someone who was tired of dealing with it.