Prior to his death back in February, Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss was a dedicated poker player and a staunch supporter of the annual World Series of Poker. So yesterday, the WSOP committee used Twitter to reach out to Kobe Bryant to extend an invitation to play at this year's WSOP in honor of Dr. Buss:

And we thought Kobe might go for it. After all, he can't play basketball right now. But he's obviously a very competitive guy. So we thought that some action at the WSOP might sound exciting to him. But apparently, Kobe's doctor doesn't think that hours and hours and hours at a poker table will be good for his Achilles or his rehab process. So the Black Mamba respectfully declined the invitation:

Maybe @SHAQ is available, guys? Even though Kobe obviously would have been the get here, the WSOP should find someone to honor Dr. Buss by participating in the annual tournament this year. If nothing else, it'll get us to tune in for a few minutes when the WSOP airs later this summer. So we hope they're able to track down someone from the Lakers franchise, past or present, to play a couple of hands.

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[via Los Angeles Times]