Kobe trying to skip the All-Star game

By Jason Wojciechowski on February 15, 2008 at 4:09 PM

This is utter crap:

The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping that Kobe Bryant gets clearance from the league to miss Sunday's All-Star Game in New Orleans after announcing Thursday that Bryant has a torn ligament in his right pinkie.

But Bryant doesn't yet have that clearance -- and may not get it.

A league official confirmed Thursday night that the NBA is not looking for potential replacements to fill Bryant's spot on the Western Conference squad. That's because the league office still expects Bryant to start and play for the West, even if it's only for a brief cameo, after he played for the Lakers all the way through to their final game before the All-Star break Wednesday in Minnesota.

How on earth can the league justify forcing a player to play in a meaningless exhibition when he's hurt? If they did force him to play and he got further injured, could he / the Lakers sue the league? Does the league really want to deal with pissing off one of their premier players, one of their genuine superstars? What if Kobe just stays home? Would the league fine him? Could the Lakers then just pay that fine?

Why am I using so many question marks?