Per usual, Sunday’s NBA All-Star game was a bit of a dud.
It was all dunks and some missed alley-oops until the second half, when both teams decided winning the game actually mattered, leading Dwyane Wade to foul Kobe Bryant real hard on this play (via CBS Sports).
Initial reports indicated Kobe only suffered a small nasal fracture. Being Kobe, he played on.
But Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has been told Kobe suffered a mild concussion as well. He also skipped the post-game media session because he was experiencing headaches.
Kobe has played through injuries throughout his career. In fact, it’s rare that he goes through a long stretch of games without some sort of ailment. A concussion is much more serious, however.
As CBS Sports points out, a concussion means Kobe won’t be allowed on the court until he receives approval from the league. Even if he’s able to return by the Lakers next game (Wednesday versus Minnesota Timberwolves) those headaches could linger. Just ask other sports stars like the Minnesota Twins’ Justin Morneau or Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins how concussions have altered their careers.
Although this is being called a “mild concussion,” we know all too well how serious head injuries are. Whether Kobe can play through it or not isn’t the issue. Any lingering effects from Wade’s hit could result in Kobe not playing like his usual self. There are also the long term effects to consider.
Plays like this are what make All-Star games so frustrating to watch. No one seems to care about the outcome and is just out there to have a good time and entertain fans until something like this happens.
Kobe and the Lakers better hope this doesn’t go down like one of the most infamous plays in the history of any All-Star game: when Pete Rose slammed into catcher Ray Fosse during the 1970 MLB All-Star game. Fosse was never the same afterward.
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