Kobe skips All-Star game

In a move that is certain to make Lakers fans cheer, Kobe Bryant has decided not to play in the All-Star game Sunday in Arlington, Tex., because of a sprained left ankle. Bryant did not play in the Lakers’ final three games before the break, including Wednesday’s victory over the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. David Stern, NBA commish, named Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks to replace Bryant in the game. It will be up to Denver’s George Karl, coach of the Western Conference All-Star team, to decide who starts in place of Bryant. Sitting out the last three games probably made it easier for Bryant to beg off the game. Stern can get cranky when his All-Stars decide to skip the event in favor of rest. Clearly, Bryant needs time off to mend his ankle, which he originally hurt Dec. 29 against Philadelphia.

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