Bryant had skipped the team’s morning shootaround, and while everyone would have been shocked if one of the league’s toughest players in history didn’t play through the illness, the official word that he’d play didn’t come until Mike Brown’s pregame media session.
Earlier on Thursday morning, Lakers head athletic trainer Gary Vitti got a text message from Bryant, who shared that he was sick to the point of vomiting and stomach problems.
Vitti first got Bryant to stop vomiting, then treated him with further medicine that helped stop the stomach problems. Bryant began to feel better as the day went on, and was able to keep both fluids and a meal down.
The league’s all-time postseason minutes leader will receive an IV prior to the game to restore more fluids into his body, and be ready for action. There is no restriction on his playing time, per Vitti.
As we may hear after the game from Bryant, it was going to take a whole lot more than a sickness to keep him out of a playoff game.