Kobe Bryant mum on MVP award, expected to play Game 1

The big news of the day came down early this morning when word leaked LeBron James had indeed beaten out Kobe Bryant for MVP. Not that that was a huge surprise. But it’s official now. And in even less of a surprise, Kobe Bryant wasn’t ready to comment on the MVP award just yet.

Even though James was widely expected to win, if you know Kobe, the competitive Kobe, there’s a part of him already visualizing beating James out for the Finals MVP to prove a point.

We’ll find out what he says publicly later tonight, most likely after Game 1 against the Rockets.

By the way, he’s expected to play despite missing Sunday’s practice with a sore throat.

“He seems OK,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “He says he’s fine so we’ll go with that.”

Jackson said Bryant went through his normal gameday workout before shootaround. It’s a grueling workout, so that fact alone should let you know how he’s feeling.

“He had an earlier workout this morning so he’s had plenty of activity,” Jackson said.

Luke Walton (ankle) also participated in shoot-around and is a game-time decision.