NBA Christmas not same without Kobe

  • Article by: BETH HARRIS , Associated Press
  • Updated: December 25, 2013 - 11:32 PM

The Lakers, their star and even their opponent missed him.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, left, and Jordan Hill sift on the bench during the first half of the Lakers’ NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Photo: Chris Carlson • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Kobe Bryant wasn’t happy about spending Christmas Day on the sideline, unable to help the struggling Los Angeles Lakers.

It’s a place he’s unaccustomed to being on the holiday. Bryant leads the NBA with a record 15 appearances on Christmas Day, but he’s out an expected four to six weeks because of a fracture in his left knee.

“It’s strange to be coming in on Christmas and not playing,” he said before the Lakers’ 101-95 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday. “It’s a foreign feeling, but I’m here to support my guys.”

LeBron James and Co. have won six in a row, and the Lakers have dropped three consecutive.

“It’s not as special when Kobe’s not out there,” James said afterward.

Bryant’s injury was diagnosed last week, his second major one of the season.

He didn’t play his first game until Dec. 8 after nearly eight months away while recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon. Then he got hurt again Dec. 17 at Memphis while playing his fourth game in five nights.

“I was fortunate that it was not a meniscus,” he said.

Initially, Bryant didn’t think he was seriously hurt against Memphis. He went down late in the third quarter, but returned to finish out the victory in which he logged a season-high 21 points in 32 minutes.

“I didn’t know it was fractured,” he said. “I was expecting a bone bruise more than anything else. I thought [the doctor] was joking when he told me.”

Bryant has been limited to riding a bike; he isn’t supposed to put any pressure on his knee.

“It’s just been slow in terms of laying off it and letting it heal,” he said. “When you don’t have activity, you got to watch the other parts like nutrition.”

Typical of Bryant’s attention to detail, he said he has been reading critical comments that suggest he won’t return this season.

“It’s the same old tune, just being sung a little more loudly now,” he said. “These type of things just help me lock in more.”

Asked if there’s any chance he won’t be back, Bryant replied, “Not that I’m aware of.”

James said, “When he comes back he’s going to play at a high level.”

Los Angeles signed the 35-year-old guard to a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension in November.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - C. Lee
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Cleveland - Z. McAllister 6:08 PM
Detroit - A. Sanchez
Washington - T. Roark 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Fernandez
Seattle - F. Hernandez 7:05 PM
Texas - Y. Darvish
Boston - C. Buchholz 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - J. Danks
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - T. Milone 9:05 PM
LA Angels - T. Skaggs
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Los Angeles - P. Maholm 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Chicago 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Indiana 6:00 PM
Orlando
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Dallas 7:00 PM
Memphis
Detroit 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Houston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
San Antonio
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Miami
Utah 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Washington 7:00 PM
Boston
Toronto 7:00 PM
New York
Golden State 9:30 PM
Denver
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
Portland
Phoenix 9:30 PM
Sacramento
Montreal 6:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Columbus 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Dallas 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Timberwolves season

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close