Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Jonathan Bachman
# Mamba
Kobe Bryant injured his right shoulder - so he came back on and played left-handed instead
Why? Because he can.

KOBE BRYANT, AT 36 years old, is doing everything he can to help the LA Lakers turn their awful season into a slightly-less-awful season.

On Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans, Bryant injured his right shoulder on a dunk in the third quarter, grimacing as he made his way up the court.

It later emerged that the five-time NBA champion had torn his rotator cuff. An update on the injury is expected later on Friday.

Bryant sat out most of the fourth quarter, but with five minutes remaining and the Lakers down 13, he checked back into the game, and began shooting left-handed.

With the game practically out of reach — not that wins matter much for the Lakers at this point — most players would have sat out, avoiding the risk of worsening the injury. Bryant still attempted two shots with his left hand, one of which he made:

kobe1 / BusinessInsider / BusinessInsider / BusinessInsider

The other one he missed pretty badly:

kobe2 / Business Insider / Business Insider / Business Insider

Kobe Bryant’s toughness has never been questioned, but this is foolish of Bryant. The Lakers have no shot at the playoffs this season, and with Bryant logging heavy usage and high minutes, it makes sense to just shut him down or significantly cut his minutes to avoid hurting him further.

Bryant tried to downplay the injury after the game:

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Many expect next season, the final year on Bryant’s contract, to be his final in the NBA. The Lakers have a load of cap space this summer and could manage to put together a competitive team around Bryant in his final year. There’s no point in Bryant playing big minutes for a lottery-bound Lakers team, much less with his dominant arm injured.

– William Scott Davis, Business Insider

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Published with permission from
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