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Armed Robbers Kept Kobe from Practicing

12/9/2009 4:58 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Kobe BryantIt takes five gun-toting men to keep Kobe Bryant from stepping on the basketball court -- we're told the superstar had to miss a Los Angeles Lakers practice this morning in the wake of a violent robbery in his neighborhood.

Sources close to the team tell TMZ Kobe was issued an "excused absence" from a team shootaround at the Lakers practice facility this morning.

Unfortunately for the Utah Jazz, we're told Kobe is expected to play tonight.

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