LOS ANGELES -- He sprung, more than he jumped. Like he used to. From a place only he knows how to reach.
For the past 48 hours, Kobe Bryant had only faith reassuring him that he'd be able to play in Game 5 Tuesday night against the New Orleans Hornets. Dissenting opinions were not allowed or acknowledged.
He would play. The stakes were too high for it not to be so.
But for the first 20 minutes of the game, faith could lift Bryant only a few inches off the floor. He was ...