LeBron James: ‘It’s not as special when Kobe’s not out there’


Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant says his knee injury had nothing to do with his Achilles injury in the same leg.

“I don’t think one had anything to do with the other,” Bryant said Wednesday, via ESPNLosAngeles.com. “We’ve evaluated it pretty extensively. The fact of the matter is any of us can get hurt at any moment and the key for us as an athlete is to block that fear out.”

Bryant has no plans to shut it down for the season despite suffering a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee just six games into his return from the Achilles tear.

“I think I feel more locked in now than I’ve been my entire career because of this,” Bryant said. “The spirits are fine, the focus is great. Just going to see what happens when I come back.”

Bryant had averaged 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists on 42.5 percent shooting six games into his return from the Achilles tear.

“The knee’s not really a question for me,” Bryant said. “The fracture will heal. The biggest question was how will my Achilles respond to my game, and I felt pretty good about that.”

Heat star LeBron James is looking forward to Bryant’s return.

“It’s not as special when Kobe’s not out there. Let’s be honest,” James said after the Heat’s  101-95 win over the Lakers. “I love coming out and going up against one of the best. One of the greatest competitors we have going in our game.”

“I’ve been hearing reports about people giving their stupid opinion about what he should do,” James added. “He’s not going to sit. That’s not him. That’s not in his nature. He’s an alpha male. He’s going to get healthy, and he’s going to play the game that he loves and has been playing forever.

“When he gets back, he’s going to play at a high level. With him, I don’t expect nothing less than greatness. Obviously, we all get older each and every year, but the caliber of player he is, he can go out and put up 20 every night if he wanted to.”

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