The buzz on the west coast Tuesday is the progress Kobe Bryant is making in his injury rehab, which is apparently not going as well as he had hoped. He says it’s “progressing slowly” and “really testing his patience” so a return this season doesn’t seem likely and his demeanor is starting to suggest that more and more. In other words, it finally seems like he realizes that sitting out for the rest of this year is the best thing for him and his team.
Before, Kobe was adamant that he would return this season as he has overcome injury quickly and ferociously on multiple occasions before. But with the severity of his most recent injuries at his age, he’s also understanding that he’s not 24 anymore. The problem is it’s taking the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans longer to figure that out…and even longer to understand what’s happening.
The Lakers have no shot at making the playoffs this year and it’s not like a player of Kobe’s status needs practice to get back in the flow of things. Heck, at his age and with his current state of health, the opposite can be argued.
Especially considering he has a new two-year, $8.5 million deal, he and the Lakers would be wise to try and get home absolutely 100 percent healthy for next season while also trying to get him some help in free agency this offseason. The bottom line is the current era of Lakers basketball is over and it’s time for the franchise to start looking in a new direction that eventually doesn’t include Kobe.