Although he had been voted into his 16th All-Star Game by the fans, Kobe Bryant told Bill Oram of the OC Register among others that he has no plans of participating even if he returns to play for the Lakers before then. If the NBA chooses to make him play, Kobe said: “Back ups will be playing a lot, because I’ll go in there, do my two minutes and sit down” (Twitter links). As many relayed on Twitter, including ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin, Kobe would like to see younger and more deserving guards get the nod to play:
“With all due respect to the fans that voted me in…you (have) to reward these young guys for the work that they’ve been putting in.”
Here’s more out of the purple-and-gold side of Los Angeles tonight:
- Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times points out that there isn’t an official rule which requires a healthy player to participate in the All-Star Game and suggests there’ll be a compromise, pointing to the event in 2008 in which Kobe played just under three minutes because of a torn ligament in his pinkie. The Lakers superstar is yet to make a return to the active list, and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports says that Kobe doesn’t plan to follow up with a doctor until the first week of February (All Twitter links).
- Head coach Mike D’Antoni says the team will wait until Saturday to make a decision on guard Manny Harris, notes Oram (via Twitter). Harris, who is currently signed to a 10-day contract, has reportedly drawn high praise from D’Antoni.
- Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles writes about why the Lakers and their fans alike shouldn’t accept tanking at all.