Late in the fourth quarter with less than two minutes to play, Kobe Bryant twisted his left ankle, as he was guarding Willie Green. The injury made Bryant lose his balance, and he fell into Green giving the Hornets two free-throws in the midst of a tight game.
Bryant, immediately started limping around the court once the whistle sounded. Phil Jackson then told Shannon Brown to sub in for him. Bryant, waved him off, signaling that he was staying on the court. However, someone had to get off the court, and Phil Jackson told Kobe to come out.
After the two free-throws, Jackson called a time-out to let Kobe gather himself, and he went back in the game.
He had a noticeable limp in the last 1:32, but still was able to contribute, yet the Lakers didn’t have enough to win Game 4 in New Orleans.
Here’s what Bryant had to say after the game courtesy the O.C. Register:
“It’s more my foot,” Bryant said. “It’s not really my ankle; it’s my foot. I don’t really hurt that too often. It’s a little different.”
“It just rolled over,” he said. “It has been weak since I hurt it last. When it happens, when you throw your ankle once, it’s easy to go. It just went.”
And about Game 5 on Tuesday night:
“It’s going to take a lot to stop me from playing…I’ve played through so many of them, it kind of becomes old hat for me.”
Bryant used crutches as he left the locker room and on to the team bus.
According to Kevin Ding, Bryant will likely have an MRI or X-ray exam Monday. He said he’ll take treatment on the foot and ankle throughout the team’s flight home late Sunday night.