A lot of people were understandably skeptical when reports over the past 24 hours indicated that Kobe Bryant might sit out of his team’s season opener tonight.
Kobe, after all, is a guy who prides himself on his ridiculous ability to pay through pain. This is someone who, aside from one questionable showing against the Phoenix Suns some years back (for reasons unrelated to pain), never lets up. And so, the idea of him missing the Los Angeles Lakers’ regular season opener against the Dallas Mavericks was met with a certain amount of doubt.
Apparently folks were right to be wary of the rumors.
After a morning workout today, Kobe indicated that there was an 85 percent chance that he would play in the opener.
"It's just a matter of how sore it gets from now until I get to Staples," he said (via the Los Angeles Times).
"Of course I want to play. We've put together a great roster here and I worked real hard this summer to get myself in tip-top shape and be ready to go. I'm not going to play with an injury that's going to get progressively worse and just limp through the season. I worked too hard for that."
Part of the reason why playing in this outing has become more feasible since this past weekend is because Kobe’s foot injury has gotten better.
"Since [Monday] night, I'm in substantially less pain. The more I ran [Tuesday] the better it got," he said. "That's very encouraging."
The best comment of the session, undoubtedly, came when a reporter asked Kobe if received medical clearance to play.
"I never get clearance," he said. "Either I'm ready to go or I'm not ready to go. They've done a great job treating me and getting me ready. We've been together for so long. They trust my judgment."
And that’s why he is who he is.
(Kudos Los Angeles Times)