Do the Sacramento Kings expect to face a Kobe Bryant-less Lakers tomorrow?

Kobe Bryant takes a breather against the Sacramento Kings. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Will Kobe Bryant play tomorrow against the Sacramento Kings?

Bryant was expected to be out indefinitely after severely spraining his left ankle in the waning moments of the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.  However, the future hall-of-famer fought through pain and started yesterday against the Indiana Pacers.  He played just 12 minutes and went 0-of-4 from the field.

Despite returning sooner than expected, his brief appearance in Friday’s win isn’t shedding much light on his availability for tomorrow’s game against the Kings.

“I don’t know, man,” Bryant told reporters in Indianapolis when asked if he would be able to play Sunday against the Kings. “I’m thinking about tonight, dude.”

Some of Bryant’s opponents weighed in on the 34-year-old All-Star’s status against them for tomorrow.  Keep in mind that these opinions were offered before news broke that Bryant would play in the Lakers’ win over of the Pacers Friday night.

As a competitor, Tyreke Evans would like to go head-to-head with Bryant.  He knows that a victory over the Lakers carries more weight with the 2008 NBA MVP in the lineup.

Yeah, I mean of course.  If we beat the Lakers, they’re gonna say Kobe wasn’t there, so of course we want him out there.

Head Coach Keith Smart is preparing his team with a game-plan that includes Bryant.

I think he’s playing…because knowing him, sometimes he will be down one moment and then the next moment he’s back.  You never can tell if he’s going to be totally out of a game.

Jason Thompson had some fun with how the Lakers characterized Bryant’s status as indefinite after the Hawks game.  Teammate DeMarcus Cousins was suspended indefinitely earlier this season, only to return to the team after missing a game and a half.

I don’t think so, but who knows? Indefinitely is a weird word. We’ve heard of it and people come back the next game. So you never know what happens with that.

We’ll see. It’s a guy that plays through a lot of injuries and us not being a playoff team, you would think that he may not. But since they don’t have too many more games left to try and make the playoffs then he might.

Chuck Hayes thinks the Lakers can’t afford to lose Bryant for an extended period of time while they chase the postseason.

I don’t think they have the margin of error or they’ve got very little margin of error left to make their playoff run.  I don’t think they can do it with him sitting out one to two weeks because they’re already in a dogfight as it is.  I’m pretty sure he’ll muster it up and fight through it.

The Kings practice this afternoon and leave for Los Angeles immediately after.


Jonathan Santiago
Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.

No Replies to "Do the Sacramento Kings expect to face a Kobe Bryant-less Lakers tomorrow?"