February 15, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) There has been one notable absence during All-Star weekend.

Kobe Bryant was voted into his 17th All-Star game as a starter, but the Lakers star stayed away from New York while he recovers from season-ending surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. A torn Achilles tendon kept Bryant out of last year's All-Star game.

Just because Bryant didn't come to New York doesn't mean he didn't want to be in the Big Apple. His first All-Star appearance was at Madison Square Garden in 1998, a celebrated event between Bryant and Michael Jordan, who won MVP honors.

NBA TV is airing an interview between Bryant and Ahmad Rashad on Monday titled, ''Kobe: The Interview.'' In the hour-long special, Bryant discusses his rehabilitation, career highlights and what motivates him to continue.

''I can't say it is the end,'' Bryant tells Rashad. ''I thought the Spurs were done 20 years ago. Those guys are still winning. So, to answer the question, I can't say this is the end of my era because I thought their (era) was done and they're still there. So I'm hoping I can have the same rebirth.''

At one point, Rashad asks Bryant what drives him to come back.

''The process of it. I want to see if I can. I don't know if I can. I want to find out. I want to see,'' Bryant said. ''What I'm going to do is do what I always do: I'm going to break everything down to its smallest form, smallest detail, and go after it day by day. Just one day at a time.''

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