The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors on Friday, but they suffered a much greater loss. Guard Kobe Bryant is probably lost for the season and the playoffs with an apparent torn Achilles tendon. An MRI will be administered on Saturday to try to confirm the injury.
The Lakers are battling the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoffs. That doesn’t seem to matter a whole lot any more because the Lakers will be sunk without their best player. The Lakers may make the playoffs, but it will be a brief series and they will then be sent home. There is simply nobody on the Lakers roster capable of stepping into Bryant’s role in the offense.
The bigger question might be is this the end of Bryant’s career. He was already throwing the word retirement out earlier this year and if he does indeed have a torn Achilles he is likely to miss all of next season. Will he want to come back after such a long layoff and in would he even be an impact player on his return?
I think Bryant will suit up for one more season. Just like baseball’s Mariano Rivera, Bryant will want to go out on his own terms. I think he will not be the player he is used to being and ride off into the proverbial sunset after the 2014-15 season. Then he will just have to wait for the basketball hall of fame to call.