Former Lakers Trainer Gary Vitti on Kobe Bryant Dislocating His Finger: “As Tough as He Is, He Was Riving in Pain. So You See Kobe Riving in Pain Then You Know It Hurts”

Published 12/31/2021, 11:30 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant losses control of the ball after Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Garnett,right, knocks ball away during first quarter action at Staples Center, Tuesday November 7, 2006. (Photo by Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant is one of the best players to step into the court. His competitive nature and skill helped ascend the guard to the stature of a legend of the game. However, none of it came easy, as the Mamba did everything he could to keep playing. Likewise, even a dislocated finger couldn’t stop Kobe from continuing the game.

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The Mamba is arguably one of the best players to don the purple and gold. Bryant spent 20 years with the Lakers and gave it his all in this time. Kobe worked extremely hard day after day and got to a superstar level. While he trained hard, Bryant also hated being away from the game.

(Denver, Colorado – Friday, May 29, 2009) Lakers guard Kobe Bryant yells out in frustration after just missing a circus shot against the Nuggets defense late in the first half in game 6 of the NBA Western Conference Finals at the Pepsi Center. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Hence, when he had a dislocated finger, Bryant had the team doctor fix it right on the spot to avoid missing a play.

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Kobe Bryant showcases pain tolerance

Bryant was in his final season during the incident. He was facing long-time rivals, San Antonio Spurs for the last time in his career. While everything seemed to be going well, Bryant tried to chase the ball and dislocated his finger in the process. While that would keep most players out, Kobe asked Gary Vitti to fix it at that moment. He checked back into the game immediately and continued to play.

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Vitti said: “Dislocations hurt. There’s different degrees of dislocations, and you can see my face. I really had to put a lot of traction on that bone to get it back in place. That’s how dislocated it was. As tough as he is, he was riving in pain. So you see Kobe riving in pain then you know it hurts.”

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While it was clearly a painful injury, it was nothing more than a minor setback for Kobe Bryant. He went right back into the game after having his dislocated finger put back in place. Moreover, he scored almost immediately. Despite his 25 points effort, the Lakers fell to the Spurs in Kobe’s last matchup against them and Tim Duncan.

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Do you there is any tougher superstar in the NBA than Kobe Bryant? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

702 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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