Lakers guard Kobe Bryant sprained his ankle in his last game, and refused to let team doctors run a precautionary MRI to determine the severity of the injury. There are two ways to interpret this seemingly unnecessary act of defiance. One is that he is so tough that he doesn't even need an MRI, because he's going to be playing anyway, damn it! The other is that he is actually hindering his own recovery by refusing the medical staff to gain a greater understanding of the true nature of his injury. The problem is that even if Kobe's intention is the former, it leads to the latter.
According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times, Phil Jackson doesn't expect the injury to keep Kobe out of the Lakers' Game 5 against the Hornets on Tuesday.
"It doesn't matter," Jackson said of whether Bryant may be afraid that the test results would indicate his ankle sprain is more seriously hurt than he believes it might be. "He's going to play anyway. That's his answer."
Is it me, or does Phil even look a little bit frustrated with the way Kobe is handling this situation? He's got that little smirk on his face, but I think even he would feel more comfortable if Kobe would just let the training staff perform the MRI so that they have a better idea of what they are dealing with.
Kobe's toughness is admirable, but if it gets in the way of his own recovery and as a result hurts the team in the long run, it could be an issue. toughness is one thing, stubbornness is a different animal.