Kobe to the Hornets-I got your sprained ankle right here!

Kobe Bryant shined brightly again at Staples

The big question going into tonight’s game 5 between the host Lakers and underdog Hornets was how well would Kobe Bryant’s sprained left ankle respond after just one day’s rest? Well the answer was the usual as Kobe put up a couple of flying dunks and some old-time moves that only someone healthy enough could make and his Lakers cruised to a 106-90 win over New Orleans, who now must win game 6 at home on Thursday night or make their fishing plans for the summer.

The Lakers easily won the opening tip and then the game

The Lakers started out slowly again falling down by 9 points after the first quarter but then opened the 2nd quarter on a 10-0 run and transitioned into the 2nd half with a renewed energy to send the Hornets home in desperation mode. And it was the ‘Bigs’ efforts to win the points in the paint honors by a dozen that was the difference again. That’s been my main postgame interviewing focus because when the Lakers win that battle-they almost always win the game!

And Kobe won his own personal battle to comeback from the injury like he always does and if you saw him walk into the building before the game like I did (very gingerly) you’d probably think this might not be his night?

Does that look like an injured old veteran to you?

But wrong again, my friend…as he put up 19 points, 4 assists and a couple of his younger days-looking monster dunks in his 28 1/2 minutes and then talked to us media types to answer all the questions (some stupid ones as usual-mostly about his injury which was obviously not a factor). It certainly helped that he was in a nice winner’s playful playoff mood as well…

Kobe Bryant with Ted Sobel:

After Kobe walked out of the room giggling, he was stopped by TNT’s Cheryl Miller in the hallway as they recorded a few minutes for the network. He then got his wife and began to head out of the building where coincindentally alongide just happened to be little ‘ol me. And I jokingly asked him for one last question in which he replied with a big smile, “Please no more stupid questions! I’ve had enough of you guys tonight and it’s late already”. And so I came back with “Yeah but Kobe, I’m just trying to squeeze one decent 12 second soundbyte from you which isn’t always easy!”. And he playfully wrapped his long arms around me gave me with a huge bear hug, so much so that someone asked if he was choking me for some reason? Not hardly (thank God) as we seperated and both laughed at the exchange before I wished him a good trip hopefully keeping me from working a game 7 on Saturday.

The following are some of my other postgame locker room chats for your listening pleasure…
Derek Fisher with Ted Sobel:

Pao Gasol with Ted Sobel:

Andrew Bynum with Ted Sobel:

Hornets forward Carl Landry with Ted Sobel:

About Ted Sobel

Award winning sportscaster/journalist covering major events around the world since 1973. Please check out my new book 'Touching Greatness' and deep audio vault---and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@tedsobelsports).
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