Skip to main content

Tim Grover on Kobe Bryant playing an All-Star Game with a concussion


With 8:48 left in the 3rd quarter of the '12 NBA All-Star Game, Kobe Bryant took an ugly shot to the face from Dwyane Wade. Later we learned that besides a broken nose, the Lakers superstar suffered a mild concussion. But even that wasn't enough to keep him off the floor.

Kobe played out the rest of the game, leading the West to a 152-149 victory over the East. In 34 minutes of action, he was the team's second-leading scorer with 27 points, passing Michael Jordan for the No. 1 spot in All-Star Game scoring annals. Bryant broke MJ's record of 262 points on a dunk with 4:57 left in the third, four minutes after he got hit by D-Wade.

At that point, Bryant was fully aware of his condition. But he refused to leave the floor. Instead of playing it safe, sitting out the rest of an exhibition game, Kobe turned the rest of the game into a personal challenge.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

He actually played an All-Star Game with a concussion. He knew he had a concussion, I knew he had a concussion, but he was just like, 'I gotta know what this feels like.'

Tim Grover, The Woj Pod

After the game, Kobe felt so bad he skipped the postgame media session. But he also refused to receive medical attention until he spoke with Wade face-to-face. Why was he so insistent?

He wanted to go up to Dwyane and say, 'Listen, I still own this. We went through this, I'm good. You didn't take me out, I'll see you down the road. You hit me with something that would knock most people out and I just wanted to stand up and see you and say that I'm good. The battle will continue.' Going from great to unstoppable, that's the moment of making a player unstoppable. 'I played through something that nobody else plays through or has played through.'

Tim Grover, Sports Illustrated

You don't see hard fouls like Wade's in the All-Star Game anymore. And perhaps that's for the best - players are dealing with enough injuries already. But even if someone replicated Dwyane's approach, tell me this - who would've replicated Kobe's reaction?

This isn't a knock on today's generation of NBA players. Instead, it's a testimony to the uniqueness of Kobe's mentality and his unorthodox way of turning everything into a personal challenge, even at the expense of his own health.

Dealing with a concussion didn't scare Kobe Bryant - missing the opportunity to learn something from it did. That's what Mamba mentality is all about.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler

“I know what I’m capable of” — Jimmy Butler shines the brightest as the Miami Heat draws first blood against the Boston Celtics

After a remarkable 42-point half, the Heat limited the Celtics to shoot just 2 out 15 from the field (13.3%) in the third quarter

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James on the floor vs. Dallas Mavericks

LeBron James admits 2011 Finals loss vs. Dallas Mavericks was the toughest one in his career

LeBron opened up on what the catastrophic 2011 Finals loss taught him.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverly and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James

“The taxes are much, much lower than L.A.” — Patrick Beverley tries to recruit LeBron James to Minnesota

Patrick Beverley named several formidable reasons why LeBron James should go to Minnesota.

Luka Doncic on his first WCF appearance: “I’m living the best life right now”

Luka Doncic on his first WCF appearance: “I’m living the best life right now”

Will Luka Doncic continue to live his best life? Or will the Golden State Warriors make it hell for him in the next following days?

Klay Thompson takes a long pause before answering a Luka Doncic question

Klay Thompson takes a long pause before answering a Luka Doncic question

Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors know how to win against teams led by generational stars

X-factors in Mavs-GSW series: Spencer Dinwiddie, Andrew Wiggins

X-factors in Dallas Mavericks-Golden State Warriors series: Spencer Dinwiddie, Andrew Wiggins

Dinwiddie and Wiggins have now found their homes with the Mavs and the Warriors, respectively. It's now up to them to repay that trust.

Tony Parker just wanted to make it to the NBA, and ended up becoming a legend in the process

Tony Parker shares what made it so hard to make it in the NBA as a European point guard back in the day

Tony Parker accomplished so much throughout his illustrious career, but his only goal initially was just to make it in the NBA

John Salley compares Luka Doncic to Larry Bird

John Salley says he would fear Luka Doncic the same way he feared Larry Bird

It might be too early to draw parallels between Larry Bird and Luka Doncic. But according to John Salley, both possess the same fear factor on the court.