The Los Angeles Lakers will get the second half of the NBA season underway tonight when they take on the up-and-coming Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center. Last time these two teams went head-to-head back on Jan. 29, the Lakers came out on top (106-101) with a dominant performance by Kobe Bryant who dropped in a game-high 35 points and 14 rebounds.
On Wednesday night, the Lake Show might have to look to Pau Gasol and All-Star center Andrew Bynum to pick up the slack offensively with Kobe Bryant possibly missing this matchup due to a concussion he sustained in the All-Star game this past weekend. Despite Kobe being arguably the toughest player in the league these days in terms of playing through injuries and would probably try to play even if he confined to a wheelchair, the Black Mamba might have to sit this one out due to the NBA’s new concussion policy agreed upon in the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement).
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk explains the new policy on concussions and what Kobe Bryant has to pass to get back on the floor tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves:
Before the season started, Kobe (and every NBA player) took a computer test that had them answer questions about numbers sequences, patterns and the like. From that test, a baseline is established of a player’s reaction times.
After a concussion, a player has to take that test again and perform about as well as he did before the season, a determination made by the league’s neurologist at the University of Michigan.
The new policy states that a player that has sustained a concussion must be symptom free 24 hours before game time. Kobe Bryant will be or has most likely already been put through a series of these tests to determine whether or not he is fit to play under the new NBA concussion policy.
Chances are Kobe Bryant will be watching from the sidelines tonight in Los Angeles with the Lakers listing him as questionable against the Timberwolves.
However, according to the Lakers official Twitter account Bryant might be cleared to play Wednesday night.
From Lakers PR: Kobe has been symptom free since yesterday afternoon. He saw the neurologist today & passed axon, bike & treadmill tests.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 29, 2012