The Lakers organization speaks…
Yahoo Sports: Kobe Bryant held the NBA’s most famous pinkie aloft for a moment Friday afternoon then suggested that if league officials needed a doctor’s note for him to skip the All-Star game they might as well just remove the splint from his ailing digit.
“All you have to do is take this off,” Bryant said with a slight wag of his finger, “to see how swollen it is.”
Bryant smiled. He knows, for now at least, he doesn’t have much choice whether to put on his All-Star uniform Sunday. If the league thinks he’ll be healthy enough to play for his Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday against Atlanta, then it also considers him capable of waving to the crowd during introductions and running up and down the court a couple of times.
“I’m not complaining about it,” Bryant said. “If I need to play, I’ll play.”
That’s also all anyone needs to know about Bryant’s decision to go against the Lakers’ wishes and put off surgery on his pinkie until the offseason. To Bryant there really was no choice. He needs to play.
ESPN: Kobe speaks