DENVER — Lakers coach Phil Jackson said after the team’s 98-96 loss to the Denver Nuggets tonight that it was Kobe Bryant’s decision to sit out because of swelling in his right knee. Jackson also said he would leave it up to Bryant as to whether he would play in Friday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers need one victory in their final four regular-season games to secure the best record in the Western Conference.
The question is, what would you do if you were Bryant and the Lakers? Would you play? Or sit out and come back healthier for Sunday’s game against Portland?
P.S., The Lakers are 4-2 without Bryant in the lineup this season. Their only two losses came on last-second misses by Derek Fisher tonight against Denver and against the Boston Celtics on Feb. 18, when Bryant missed his fifth and final game because of a strained tendon in his left ankle. What’s more, the Lakers have won 10 consecutive games over the Timberwolves, including two earlier this season at Staples Center.