Los Angeles A beat-up Kobe Bryant might skip the All-Star game, with the full blessing of his Los Angeles Lakers coach.
"Every player I've ever had, I'd rather have sit out of the All-Star game. It's a meaningless game, it's tiring and it's wearing on the players," Phil Jackson said Sunday.
"It's a nice showcase for our sponsors in the NBA, but as far as how much it taxes the players, it takes its toll," added Jackson.
Bryant, often double- and triple-teamed in the five games since Shaquille O'Neal was sidelined by a strained right arch, has been nursing a tender right (shooting) shoulder and has a variety of other aches, including bursitis in his right hip.
He said his health will determine whether he plays in next Sunday's All-Star game in Washington, D.C.
"If I feel like I'm not healthy enough, and I feel like the All-Star game is going to set me back for the second half of the season, then I'm not going to play," he said.