Kobe Bryant has received pain-killing injections before every game since tearing a ligament in his right wrist Dec. 19, Lakers coach Mike Brown confirmed less than 90 minutes before Friday night’s contest against the Golden State Warriors.
Bryant hasn’t missed a regular-season game since he was hurt in a fall in the Lakers’ exhibition loss to the Clippers at Staples Center. He was advised to rest his wrist and that surgery would not correct the problem.
Bryant wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Brown said he wasn’t concerned because Bryant and the team’s medical personnel aren’t concerned, adding, “I believe in our training staff and I believe in our doctors, so they’re telling me everything is all right with it.
“There’s not anything to worry about. There’s no minute limitations or anything like that. If Kobe feels ready to go then I’m ready for him to go. For me to try to throw my two cents in an area where I don’t know anything about wouldn’t make any sense.”
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Lakers launched 11 shots from beyond the 3-point arc in tonight’s 107-96 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers and 11 missed the mark. Kobe Bryant was 0 for 4, Steve Blake was 0 for 5, Metta World Peace was 0 for 1 and so was Jason Kapono. It was the first time since Nov. 16, 2003 that they failed to make a 3 in a game.
The Lakers’ continued a pattern to start the season. They are an abysmal 31 of 136 on 3-pointers (22.8 percent) in their first eight games. Bryant, playing with a torn ligament in his right wrist, is 7 of 37 (18.9 percent). Blake is a credible 11 of 36 (30.6 percent).
So, is Lakers’ coach Mike Brown troubled by all the bricks being tossed from deep?
“I’m not concerned with that yet,” he said. “I truly believe we’re going to shoot the ball. We scored 96 points on 47 percent shooting (against the Trail Blazers), and we didn’t shoot that well. We still had a chance to win the game.”
Kobe Bryant once implored Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak to dump Andrew Bynum, saying it was time to “ship his (butt) out of here.” Kupchak resisted in 2007, Bynum grew up on the court a good deal and Bryant has been pleased by the results.
“We all know the amount of talent he has and he’s really worked on it,” Bryant said of Bynum after watching him score 21 points and grab 22 rebounds during the Lakers’ victory Tuesday over the Houston Rockets at Staples Center.
“The thing I like about him is that he has an engine inside of him and he wants to do well,” Bryant continued. “He wants to dominate. He has ambition to be great. I think that’s the biggest positive about him aside from all of the physical attributes.”
It kind of sounded like a plea to Kupchak to keep Bynum in the fold rather than trade him to Orlando for Dwight Howard. If there’s one thing Bryant admires over everything else it’s a fellow player’s dedication to his craft. Sounds like he’s sold on Bynum.
If Lakers executive Jim Buss, the son of team owner Jerry Buss, didn’t want to trade center Andrew Bynum to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard in a swap of big men before the season began Christmas Day, how do you think he’s feeling now?
Is isn’t just that Bynum’s statistics that are so jaw-dropping, it’s how he is scoring and rebounding. Bynum has been a physical force in three games since returning from a four-game suspension for decking J.J. Barea in the playoffs last May.
He has dunked on people and knocked them around while battling for rebounds.
The difference in the numbers is staggering. Bynum is averaging 22.7 points on 62.2 percent shooting and 17 points in three games and Howard is averaging 17.7 points and 15.3 rebounds in six games. Bynum is shooting 57.1 percent at the free throw line and Howard is shooting 41.5 percent.
Now imagine what happens when Bynum finally gets into game shape.
Lakers coach Mike Brown did after watching Bynum score 21 points and grab 22 rebounds for his first 20-20 game in his career during the team’s 108-99 victory tonight over the undersized Houston Rockets at Staples Center.
“He was very productive in the 38 minutes he played,” Brown said. “His conditioning is getting a little better and if he can ever get it to a point where it’s great … oh my gosh.”
Said Pau Gasol of his fellow 7-footer: “It’s not just tonight, but the way he’s played these three games. He’s been really aggressive and really decisive and just pursuing every ball pretty much. I’m glad to see him with this level of intensity and energy and desire because it takes desire and will.”