Gutsiest Moments of Kobe Bryant’s LA Lakers Career

Shortly after spraining his ankle against the Atlanta Hawks on March 13, Kobe Bryant was listed as "out indefinitely" (via Mike Trudell). 

The injury appeared gruesome and figured to sideline Bryant for a week or two, dashing the Los Angeles Lakers' playoff hopes in the process. 

However, in typical Mamba fashion, Bryant returned (per The Associated Press) two days later for the Lakers' next game against the Indiana Pacers.

Despite only being able to play 12 minutes against the Pacers, Bryant's return displayed the dichotomy of his gutsy decisions.

On one hand, Kobe's determination to play through countless injuries over the years has been admirable. On the other hand, risking further injury is an unfortunate evil that accompanies such drive and determination.

With images of Bryant writhing in pain on the floor of Philips Arena still fresh in our minds, it's time to revisit the most gutsy and reckless performances of Kobe's career.


The Triumph in 2000

The 2000 NBA Finals pitted the Lakers against the Eastern Conference champion Pacers, a series in which L.A. ultimately emerged victorious by a margin of four games to two.  

What many have forgotten is that Bryant, who sprained his ankle in game two of that series, actually wound up missing game three.

The fact that the injury was severe enough to cause Bryant to sit out a game during the Finals gives you an indication of just how much pain he was fighting off. However, Bryant returned in game four and scored 28 points on 51.9 percent shooting en route to a 120-118 overtime victory.

Although he was overshadowed by teammate Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe's perseverance was one of the cornerstones of the Lakers' success that propelled them to victory.

As it turns out, former Indiana Pacer and current ESPN contributor Jalen Rose has admitted ...

About the Author