Whether it’s because of the actual injury or simply not wanting to be involved in a sinking ship kind of season, Kobe Bryant isn’t going to play for the Los Angeles Lakers for at least three more weeks. It won’t surprise anyone if he doesn’t appear again this season.
Kobe Bryant was healthy enough to play in six games this season, averaging 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists. The Lakers went 2-4 during his short time on the court, as he arrived following a 10-12 start. Since he went down, which coincided with plenty of other injuries this team has been trying to play through? They’re 4-17, only one game above the last place in the Western conference.
It’s pretty well established that the Lakers won’t make the playoffs this season. It doesn’t matter if it’s because of injuries, bad play, bad coaching, no defense or simply bad luck; the truth of the matter is that for the first time since 2005 the Lakers won’t be in the postseason, and they barely made it there last year. They’re very close to hitting rock bottom.
I’m down about it. I didn’t know what to expect. It’s an injury that I really can’t measure so I have no idea what it’s supposed to feel like. It’s tough. It never really hurt when I was walking on it in the first place, so it’s tough to gauge it. It’s not something that’s kind of on the surface where you can pinpoint and feel the swelling around. It’s deep in there.
Bryant won’t play in the All-Star game he was voted into, but he never really wanted to play in it. He encouraged fans to vote for other players, saying he doesn’t deserve to play. Now his injury is going to keep him away from the court in the event in any case, and he’ll probably be there just as another famous face on the sidelines.
One of the interesting questions that comes up from this whole situation is if Bryant is going to come back at all this season? There’s a chance this injury is simply a cover up for keeping him off the court; the Lakers might be paying him the highest salary in the NBA, but are also feeling (possibly) that there’s no use risking him when there’s no chance of achieving anything. There’s also a chance that Bryant himself doesn’t want to come back while things are going so bad, although that goes against everything we’ve come to learn about his persona, or the one he chooses to share.