Kobe Bryant Throws ‘Bow at Throat
Let’s get one thing straight right away: Kobe Bryant will not miss a moment of court action for this play. In the era of Sternonomics, he’s simply too valuable as a facet of the NBA’s television product, and a game without him on the court will hurt their pockets more than allowing him to play despite such a clear transgression of the rules. Take a look at the clip below to see the play in question.
I should point out that, while Kobe certainly performed what the NBA would term an "unnatural basketball motion", it wasn’t a premeditated elbow to the throat. Bothered by Ron’s hands-on approach to defence, he lashed out in frustration and just happened to hit Artest in the neck. If he had hit him in the chest with a forearm instead, this wouldn’t have become a point of discussion.
Still, the league has shown in the past that they’re more concerned with the result of such non-basketball acts than their intent, so if they were sticking to the formula they’d have Mamba in a suit for the next game. Since he’s the main attraction, however, you can bet the farm on the fact that he’ll play.