Kobe Bryant seems to have left his anger on the West Coast following the one-game suspension he served last night against the Knicks. The league told Bryant to sit out a game for striking Manu Ginobili in the face during L.A.’s game with San Antonio Sunday. Bryant requested an immediate hearing to review the reason for the suspension but was denied.
Bryant watched the Knicks game from his hotel room.
“I felt like a kid that was grounded,” Bryant said before tonight’s game. “I couldn’t go outside and play on the swings.”
Bryant had already shifted his focus to tonight’s game with the Celtics.
“There’s nothing we can do about it now,” Bryant said. “I wish I could get an opportunity to win the game back. But you can’t sulk over it.”
Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he wasn’t concerned about keeping Kobe under control against the Celtics.
“My answer is to not let him go and get wacky out there,” said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. “We’ll try to keep his emotions controlled so he can give his best effort.”
Bryant seemed to side with his coach.
“It’s not for me to take over the game,” he said. “Hopefully we won’t need that. It’s important for everybody to get on track if we want to win.”
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he is worried about facing Bryant anytime.
‘”I think he’s angry, and probably rightly so in my opinion,” said Rivers. “But he’s just going to come out and play. I think Kobe is so over that stuff. He’s just going to come out and play and do what he can to win the game.”
Bryant was asked if he remembered feeling grounded like he felt Tuesday night.
“My mother recalls now she never grounded me or gave me a spanking, that I was the sweetest little angel” said Bryant. “But my butt recalls a little differently.”