Indiana Pacers Skeptical that Injured Kobe Bryant Will Sit Out

With Kobe Bryant currently listed as being out indefinitely, there are serious doubts that he will suit up tonight in Indiana. Just don’t tell that to Paul George and the Pacers — they expect Bryant to figure out a way to play. Per the Indy Star: “I knew the Lakers. I still know Kobe,’ said assistant coach Brian Shaw, a Lakers assistant from 2004-11. ‘I’ve seen him come back from some injuries that you would never think he would be able to come back from the next game. If anybody can bounce back from something like that, he can.’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse is sold out and fans can’t get their money back if Bryant misses one of the more popular matchups each year. ‘It has no impact on us whatsoever,’ said David Benner, Pacers director of basketball media relations. ‘In sports, define indefinitely.’ […] Pacers leading scorer Paul George said he will be disappointed if Bryant doesn’t play. ‘I wanted to have a chance and an opportunity to go against Kobe,’ George said after Thursday’s practice. ‘It’s always fun going against the elite guys. (But) nothing really seems to sit him out. I’ve still got the mind-set that he’s going to be on the floor tomorrow night. He’s had worse injuries than an ankle sprain, I think, that still doesn’t sit him out. He just wants to compete so much. With them being in the hunt now, I think that’s even more motivation for him to play.’ The 22-year-old George has blossomed into one of the league’s young stars as a first-time NBA All-Star. He grew up in Palmdale, Calif., which meant watching Bryant win five titles. Bryant at 34 is still one of the league’s top scorers. ‘That’s all I wanted to watch was Kobe,’ George said. ‘Growing up, he really was a big idol for me. I really enjoyed the game because of him.'”