The writer, Peter Vecsey of the New York Post, wanted to know why the Lakers' Kobe Bryant hadn't practiced all season up until after the Lakers Christmas defeat against the Heat, a question he thought the Los Angeles local press should have called him out on. Bryant spoke with Vecsey earlier this week, who answered his question.
Note: Lakers fans beware, Bryant's answer may be shocking and not suitable for Lakers fans under 13.
So, Kobe, why weren't you practicing all season?
"Because I have very little cartilage under my right knee cap, it's almost bone-on-bone," said the 32-year-old Bryant to the Post.
In order to minimize the wear and tear, Bryant, coach Phil Jackson and the Lakers decided to have Kobe sit out during practices this season.
But Kobe said the Lakers' (25-11) woeful play in the first 30 games or so of the season made him feel like there was a need for him in practice and since Christmas Day, he hasn't missed one.
"I feel it's up to me to take the team to where we want to go and still believe we will go," said Bryant to the Post.
"You know how competitive and combative I am on the court. There's nothing I like better than to practice. In fact, I like practice more than the games, because I get to go at my teammates hard. That's when you find out what they're made of, how much you can push some to get the most out of 'em, and how you have to back off others so you don't lose 'em."
During last year's NBA Finals run, Bryant had his knee drained during the first round of the NBA playoffs. For the next few rounds, Bryant's play improved, averaging 29.2 points per game. But in Game 7 of the Finals against the Celtics, Bryant looked fatigued, and it was clear he couldn't get off his jump shot properly, shooting an abysmal 6 for 24 in the game.
"Until I got it drained the first time during the opening round against the Thunder, I could not bend that knee at all," Bryant revealed. "It was swollen as hell and it hurt like hell. Luckily things got a lot better once I had the procedure."
Bryant has undergone three operations on that same knee, including one this offseason.
Vecsey points out that Bryant, playing in his 15th season, has played a total of 46,660 minutes. That figure doesn't include the amount of minutes spent playing for team USA in 2007 and 2008.