Kobe Bryant masks his anger as Lakers-Heat "revenge game" looms Sunday
Perhaps it's even more unfortunate for Wade that he has to face Kobe again Sunday afternoon, just one week later when the Miami Heat play the Lakers -- on the Lakers' home court.
Wade's foul on Bryant was considered a breach of All-Star Game decorum, a game in which hard-fouling is even more uncommon than playing actual defense. These courtesies will not apply for a regular season game on a Sunday afternoon in early March.
But when asked if this is a "revenge game", Black Mamba wasn't biting.
"It's always entertaining to me to hear people talk about our relationship as if they know really what's going on and try to say there's something between them and all this other stuff," Bryant told the Los Angeles Times. "It was very simple. It was very simple. He didn't mean to do it. It's just something that just happens. He's not that type of person."
"He's a nicer guy than I am, to be honest with you," Bryant said of Wade. "He's just not the type of person who would intentionally do something like that."
Kobe sounds quite diplomatic and forgiving. His Lakers teammates, however, do not.
"I think it was out of place, out of line, for the moment and the game that it was," Lakers' center Pau Gasol told ESPN, "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."
Bryant hasn't missed any games, despite the concussion and busted nose. Wearing a Rip Hamilton-style protective mask, Kobe scored 31 Wednesday night in the first game since the All-Star break, a 104-85 win over the Timberwolves.
Bryant does not figure to miss any time with the injury. The status of his protective mask, however, is day-to-day. Bryant may or may not be wearing the mask Friday night against the Kings, or Sunday against the Heat.
Kobe sounds like he's willing to forgive and forget and then taunt Lebron James some more.
If there are any "revenge fouls" in Sunday's Lakers-Heat game, they may not come from Kobe. Ironically, they may come from a guy whose name is World Peace.