Through much of his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant was revered for being relentless and his passion to win at any cost. Some of that wore off as Bryant became more reflective during the twilight of his career.
Since retiring after the 2015-16 NBA season, the five-time champion has largely removed himself from the sport he dedicated more than half of his life to. Bryant was on hand for the unveiling of Shaquille O’Neal’s statue outside Staples Center, and he’s met or spoken with several players.
In addition to providing mentorship to current Lakers, the latest of which was rookie sensation Kyle Kuzma, Bryant has also bestowed his wisdom on players outside the organization.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, that includes Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry as he sought advice on playing through injury:
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry said he consulted with former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant this week on how to deal with a painful, injured ring finger on his shooting hand.
According to Curry, Bryant told him it was possible to play with the injury if it’s wrapped and padded, but that it was one of the more painful injuries he’d experienced in his career, and that it did not heal quickly.
Bryant notoriously played through a slew injuries throughout his career, including simultaneous to his right ring and pinkie fingers, and separate right index and middle fingers injuries.
Curry missed the Warriors’ game on Monday night due to a right hand contusion, but he returned Wednesday night to play against the Lakers in a highly-anticipated matchup with Lonzo Ball.
The two-time MVP at one point was an uncharacteristic 1-for-7 from behind the 3-point line during regulation, then erupted for 13 of the Warriors’ 18 points in overtime. The Warriors have largely downplayed any concern over Curry’s injury that he’s played two games with.
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