Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 40 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 105-95 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, but the scoring outburst might have come at a cost. Read more after the jump.
Bryant said he was playing on one leg and told reporters in the locker room after the game that he felt like his right foot was “about to fall off” during the game.
Bryant missed a week’s worth of practice and the final two preseason games while he recovered from a right foot injury that Bryant characterized as an ankle contusion that also irritated the tendon that runs along the bottom of his foot.
Compounding things was the fact that Bryant played a game-high 43 minutes. Lakers coach Mike Brown admitted to overusing the 34-year-old Bryant.
“We need a win, obviously. I’m not trying to fool anybody here. We do need a win. You hope we could have gotten one tonight,” Brown said. “That’s part of why (Bryant) played the minutes that he played, which was too many.”
Bryant, who told the Lakers’ critics in L.A. to “shut up” at Thursday’s practice, acknowledged — somewhat facetiously — that now the team was letting their losses get to them.
“We’re hitting the panic button now,” Bryant said in a somewhat obligatory manner after a reporter asked if the team was reaching for an imaginary knob. “That’s what we’re supposed to do. This is our job. We’re not supposed to just kind of coast and just assume things are going to fix themselves. We got to push at it.”
Written by Dave McMenamin read more on ESPN