Kobe Bryant confirms he recently directed Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez to an experimental treatment on his right knee in Germany. Bryant credits the therapy with dramatic improvement in his own troublesome knee and an injured ankle in recent months. Bryant gave Rodriguez the phone number of the German doctor who developed the treatment, the Lakers guard said Thursday night before Los Angeles hosted the New York Knicks.
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So A-Rod was approached as a credible voice on LeBron’s plight, a subject he embraced eagerly enough to open a window on his competitive soul that he rarely opens. Rodriguez talked with ESPNNewYork.com on Friday about James, about the mental and emotional hurdles he cleared to win a title with the New York Yankees, about the advice Elway gave him in pursuit of that title, and about the relentless pressure applied to him by the news media that’s now being applied to the starting small forward of the Miami Heat. A starting small forward who has inspired a national conversation on his inability to make a clutch endgame shot. “When LeBron overcomes, it’s going to be sweet for him,” Rodriguez said. “But these are the little battles he has to go through, and a lot of it is going to a different place. If this happened in Cleveland, it never gets talked about. But once you expose yourself, like me leaving Seattle, the training wheels are off.
Rodriguez became fair game the day he signed his landmark $252 million contract to play for Texas and again when he escaped to New York to join Derek Jeter’s Yankees, four-time champs. “And the Heat had won a title [before James arrived], so it’s a good comparison,” A-Rod said. “That’s huge, because if they’d never won, he’s coming in as the guy who can take them over the top. “But I’m a big LeBron James fan, and he’s going to be fine. … He’s too good. His time is going to come, and it’s up to [the media] to make it miserable for him until he does. That’s just the way it goes.”