Kobe Bryant Jokes That Passing Too Much Caused His Shoulder Injury

It seems like Kobe Bryant may have strayed a bit too far outside of his comfort zone.

Searching for a way to spark the point guard-starved Los Angeles Lakers this season, the Mamba placed a premium on passing. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Bryant cited the change in approach as the cause of his recent shoulder injury:

The scoring guard injured his right shoulder during the second half of Wednesday's 96-80 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. The injury occurred as Bryant slammed down a dunk from the baseline.

"I felt fine when I went up, didn't feel too good when I came down," Bryant said after the game, per Mark Medina of the LA Daily News.

The Lakers later released a statement saying that an MRI exam had revealed a torn rotator cuff, per Lakers.com's Mike Trudell. Bryant is scheduled to undergo further testing, which will help determine the severity of the injury and build a timetable for his return.

The shoulder, which Bryant told reporters has "been bothering me for a while," was actually first injured during the preseason, sources told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne:

The Lakers, likely headed to their second consecutive losing season for the first time in more than two decades, now have some difficult questions to answer going forward.

Bryant hasn't just been their franchise face, he's also been their most productive player. By far. He leads the team in scoring (22.3 points), assists (5.6) and minutes (34.5).

Granted, there could be some concerns raised about leaning on a player this heavily with as much mileage as Bryant has logged. Lakers coach Byron Scott even apologized for the heavy burden he placed on Bryant at the beginning of the season, and the Mamba sent back some forgiveness, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

Given Bryant's competitive nature, it's hard to imagine he...

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