Saturday , Feb , 16 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Kobe Bryant to Play in All-Star Game

Denying a Lakers request, NBA officials insisted Friday that Kobe Bryant remain in the starting lineup for Sunday’s All-Star game, which Bryant said he would do.

According to NBA policy, a selectee who plays in his team’s last game — as Bryant did, scoring 29 points in Wednesday’s win in Minnesota — has to play in the All-Star game or sit out his next game.

Not that this case was like any other that had come up.

Only after the Lakers returned from their East Coast trip Thursday was Bryant’s injury, thought to be a dislocated right pinkie finger, re-diagnosed as a torn ligament. [Click here for more from the LA Times.]