Kevin C. Cox
With tip-off just a few hours away, Kobe Bryant seems fairly certain that he will play tonight despite a foot injury.
According to Beto Duran of ESPN Radio in Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant said that he is 85% sure that he will play tonight. Duran also adds that Bryant did a lot of running after shootaround this morning, which is an encouraging sign, and had this quote from Kobe on why he is not concerned about missing practice.
"I know the offense. Ran Princeton in high school. Second nature to me."
How many natures does Kobe have? Because it sure seemed like the triangle was second nature to him over the past decade.
Bryant also put on his lab coat and broke down what exactly has been bothering him.
"Just bruised like crazy. All swelling trickled down to tendon right below cuboid bone. It was painful to walk on. Swelling went to tendon that runs beneath foot and I couldn't put any pressure on whatsover."
Here is what Kobe, who took part in the entire shootaround session today, had this to say about his status going forward:
"(We'll) wait and see if gets worse this afternoon. If it doesn't, it's something you can play through, if it gets worse then shut it down."
In the event that Bryant plays, he will wear shoes with a thicker sole to give him more cushion.
It is no surprise to hear Kobe being optimistic about his status for tonight as this evening's game is a landmark one in the history of the Lakers' franchise and it wouldn't be the same without Bean. That said, it seems like the stability that Dwight Howard and Steve Nash have added made Lakers fans a lot more open to seeing Bryant sits in hopes of having him at 100% the first time he touches the floor.
We'll keep you updated on the situation, but right now it seems like Kobe Bryant will play tonight.