The rest came at the right time.
L.A. Times: Beware of any movement within the Lakers organization the following week. We’re not talking about trades. That deadline has already passed. We’re talking about the repercussions if Lakers guard Kobe Bryant isn’t healthy enough to play Tuesday against Memphis.
“If not, I’m firing everybody,” joked Bryant, who has missed the past five games because of a left ankle and tendon injury.
All kidding aside, Bryant anticipates playing against Memphis after practice Saturday, but he’ll have a much better idea how he feels tomorrow when he gets treatment.
The Lakers’ schedule this week couldn’t come at a better time. After their 87-86 loss Thursday to the Boston Celtics, the Lakers had the day off Friday, a short practice Saturday and plan for another day off Sunday before playing Tuesday at Memphis . With Bryant’s sprained left ankle, Andrew Bynum’s right hip, Luke Walton’s pinched nerve in his lower back and Sasha Vujacic’s sprained right shoulder, the Lakers hope the extra rest is the right subscription for full recovery.
The most urgent case obviously involves Bryant because of his skill level and because he’s on pace to recover fairly soon. Bynum has already returned to the lineup for the past two games. Walton is out indefinitely. And Vujacic is expected to miss “a couple weeks,” the team said Saturday.
And after today’s practice, Bryant says there were several things that pleased him, including his elevation (“I can jump.”), his conditioning (“I’m really fortunate I got these really huge lungs.”) and his level of pain (“The ankle is still a little sore in certain points, but it went away.” )
He joked that he would’ve stayed in the lineup had he known he was a game away from playing in 1,000 career contests, a feat guard Derek Fisher ultimately reached before Bryant (“I would’ve just limped through the game.”). He kicked around the idea that Walton proposed when the Lakers trailed Boston by one with 2.2 seconds remaining (“He said next time what you do when you can’t play is sit on the bench in your uniform. If it comes down to that situation, just send yourself in like Mariano Rivera.”). And then the interview came to a screeching halt when Bryant was asked what he thought ofTiger Woods’ apology (“I’ll catch ya’ll later” as he walked away with a frustrated look.).