EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Laker assistant Kurt Rambis was taken from the floor of Continental Airlines Arena on a stretcher after suffering a deep cut on his lower leg before Wednesday night's game against the New Jersey Nets.
He was treated at Meadowlands Hospital and released in time to join the team as it flew to Boston, where it plays Friday.
Rambis, as is his near daily ritual, was playing a game of one-on-one against Mark Madsen when he crashed into a row of chairs on the baseline. His leg apparently was cut by a sharp or pointed edge on one of the chairs and it began to bleed profusely.
Medical personnel quickly applied pressure bandages and raised the leg to stem the bleeding. Several minutes later, Rambis, his right sock and shoe soaked in blood, was lifted to a stretcher and taken to the hospital, where he received sutures on the muscle and six stitches on the exterior leg.
By the time he was carried away, Rambis had regained his famous sense of humor. Appearing pale, strapped to the stretcher and with his leg raised, Rambis was being rolled from the floor when fellow assistant Frank Hamblen peered down and said, "Hey, you going to the hospital?"
"Well," Rambis said with a laugh, "I hope so."
After watching the second half of the game from the locker room, Rambis boarded the bus without help, though with a pronounced limp.
Kobe Bryant said his relationship with Michael Jordan has evolved since the days he often called for guidance.
"It's changed," Bryant said. "It's more to the point we talk to each other to see how we're doing. In the past, I used his advice to get me out of difficult situations. Now, I'm on my own, I guess."