Dwyane Wade apologizes for foul
"It's all I can do," Wade said of the message to Kobe. "He knows it's no ill intent of me to do that to him. Talk about me for taking the foul, but I never wanted that kind of outcome."
The Los Angeles Lakers announced on their website that Bryant suffered a nasal fracture during the Western Conference's 152-149 win over the East on Sunday night.
Bryant was bloodied by a hard foul and stayed in the game, but he left to be evaluated afterward. A CT scan revealed a broken nose, but no concussion.
Bryant did not attend the team's first practice after the All-Star break on Tuesday and his status for Wednesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves is "unknown at this time," according to a team spokesman.
Bryant visited Dr. John Rehm, an ear, nose and throat specialist, on Tuesday morning where his nasal fracture was confirmed. Bryant was experiencing other symptoms related to the nose injury, and the 16-year veteran was sent to a neurologist to undergo an MRI following his appointment with Dr. Rehm. The MRI confirmed Bryant also suffered a concussion.
The Heat are set to take on the Lakers on Sunday, but Wade said the foul won't change his preparation for it.
"It adds to the storyline, but it won't change my approach to the game," Wade said. "From the standpoint of coverage and media attention? Yeah, it makes it interesting."
Bryant's teammates weren't exactly in a forgiving mood and questioned the motivation behind Wade's foul.
"It was an All-Star Game," said Andrew Bynum, who was on the Western Conference All-Star's bench in Orlando at the time of the foul. "I don't understand what that was all about. It was crazy."
Added Pau Gasol: "I think it was out of place, out of line, for the moment and the game that it was, but I don't think he intended to break his nose. He just fouled him kind of hard there and got his nose. But again, I don't think it was the place to foul like that."
Gasol was confident that Bryant would play against Minnesota despite the fact that the 14-time All-Star was not present at practice.
"No concerns," Gasol said. "We always expect him to be out there. I don't think a broken nose will keep him from playing."
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Wade's star teammate LeBron James agreed that the foul would add some extra drama to Sunday's game, but he didn't expect Bryant to feed off it.
"I think it's extra," James said. "D-Wade didn't at all go for a hard foul, he accidently hit him in the nose. Kobe doesn't need extra motivation. He motivates himself. He's always prepared to play, especially when we go against him."
After fielding a series of Bryant-related questions from the media on Tuesday, Wade said it's the last time he'll address the Bryant injury. He then turned the questioning to the reporters, joking, "Any questions about basketball, about the Heat game versus Portland, please?"
That wasn't the only hot topic at Tuesday's practice. James, who had 36 points in Sunday's game, also caught criticism for his late-game turnover in Sunday's loss.
"I don't really have an answer for it honestly," James said of the criticism. "Is that something new?"
In response to the continuing criticism of James, Wade said James finds himself in a losing situation.
"It's just LeBron," Wade said with a smile. "No matter what LeBron would have done, if he missed the shot, they would have said he can't make it. If he would have hit the shot, they would have said he could only make it in an All-Star Game. He had a great All-Star Game. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have even been in that situation with the way he caught fire."
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra didn't watch the All-Star Game, but he didn't hide his feelings about the criticism.
"It's an All-Star Game, I mean come on," Spoelstra said. "It's a continuation of the theater of the absurd. But I don't even know if it's going to motivate me enough to actually look at it.
"There's nothing we can do about it, the extreme exaggeration of everything that happens with our team. All we can focus on is us. At the end of the season, hopefully it ends the right way. That'll be ultimately the only way we can shut people up."
Tom Haberstroh covers the NBA for ESPN.com. Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin was used in this report.
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