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Report: Lakers to officially declare Kobe Bryant out for the season

Mar 11, 2014, 9:36 PM EDT

kobe crutches game 4 ovation

Kobe Bryant has maintained all along while rehabilitating from injury that his goal was to make it back to the court this season, despite the Lakers being completely out of playoff contention.

But now it appears that won’t be possible, despite Bryant’s best intentions.

The recovery process has continued to be slower than expected, and with just 18 games left in the regular season, the Lakers are reportedly on the verge of officially postponing Bryant’s return until next year.

From Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report:

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to declare Bryant out for the rest of the 2013-14 Lakers season later this week, according to team sources. Bryant is not accompanying the team on its trip to Oklahoma City and San Antonio, staying back to be reexamined by team doctor Steve Lombardo. And considering where Bryant’s level of discomfort remains with the fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, barring an unforeseen change, the team will finalize the decision that Bryant will not play again this season. …

Although the Lakers’ original estimate was that Bryant would miss approximately six weeks, he is now expected to miss the final 17 weeks of the season. He said at the All-Star break he was frustrated by the slow recovery with his knee and noted, “It’s not the mind that wears down, it’s the body.”

There really would have been no purpose to Bryant returning this season, except to perhaps prove to himself that he could make it back along the timeline that was expected, and maybe get some reps in live game situations to help him gauge exactly where he was in the recovery process.

That won’t happen now, but for Bryant and the Lakers, the extra time off without the risk of another injury might ultimately be what’s best.

  1. blackman24 - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    Laker fan here, but I think he has been healthy for a while now. No reason to bring him back this year when the season was in the dumps months ago. Now he can sit back to see what the FO does in the summer, then come back and play out the final 2 years of his contract, which starts next year. I don’t know if he will get his 6th, but I just want him to be healthy and go out on his own terms. Lakers-4-Life!!!

    • eugenesaxe1 - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      I don’t see Kobe quietly sitting out if he’s healthy. Drive, ego, whatever you want to call it, he wants to play.

      • blackman24 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:03 PM

        Why risk him getting hurt when his 2 year contract doesn’t start until next year? Kobe has finally started to see that his career is winding down, no need to go out there and put more strain on his body when he knows the team is not even close to a playoff team and has no chance to even compete with the upper echelon in the West.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM

        I didn’t say coming back would be smart. And I don’t see Buss/Kupchak telling him to sit if he’s healthy, even if they want him to.

      • blackman24 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:18 PM

        Why not? They paid him for 2 more years, and they wanna make sure he is healthy for those 2 years to honor that extension. Allowing him to come back this year to play for a team that wasn’t competitive would of been a waste. Now let’s see if they can make a splash this summer, and maybe land Lebron(which I doubt) or Melo on top of their lottery pick.

      • blackman24 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        I may be wrong, but that’s what I believe.

      • antistratfordian - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:34 AM

        “Drive, ego, whatever you want to call it, he wants to play.”

        But he also said that as he ages his drive isn’t what it used to be.

        When he was rehabbing his achilles he tweeted a picture of a krispy kreme he was about to devour (“Diet be damned. #onewonthurt”) – then he came back overweight. So maybe his motor and general motivation is winding down a little bit.

      • shuttaman1990 - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        Maybe Kobe of having to play with smush parker and kwame brown days would have came back.

        However he already went through that, he may trying to go through this again with a possibly worse coach and team that cant stay healthy. So why force himself in especially when they are completely out of the playoffs?

    • apkyletexas - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      They’re only 15 games out of 8th place with 17 to go.

      Seems a little early to throw in the towel.

    • bendover09 - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      This is when I hope the league fines these teams for tanking. But hey, I guess will never know if Peyton Manning faked his injury to help benefit the Colts . Professional sports is rigged to the core

    • mogogo1 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      Yeah, because Kobe Bryant is the sort to quietly sit back and pretend to be hurt. Even his biggest detractors don’t question his desire to play. He wants to play too much at times.

  2. xli2006 - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    Flashback: He signed an insane 2 year extension BEFORE he came back from a major injury. Common sense and basic judgement would say “Hey, let’s pump the breaks a sec and let him get some court time”. Nope… 24 Million later and the Lakers have put themselves in a major trap that will likely extend into and maybe beyond next year.

  3. eugenesaxe1 - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    6 weeks turning into 17+? Sounds like the Lakers were selling hope when there was none.

    • mogogo1 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      Not the first time. Check out basically every other injury the last couple years and they’ve all started out with wildly optimistic predictions about when the guy would be back. Last season when Nash ended up missing like half the year it was initially called day-to-day.

  4. onbucky96 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    As if they didn’t suck already. All in for the Lottery I guess. Kobe = Quitter…? Signed, American Trolls

  5. bigdaddy44 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Rondo comes back and plays his ass off, hurting the Celtics lottery chances. Kobe will take roughly three times longer than anticipated to come back, keeping the tank job in place. I admire Rondo and the way he plays the game, but his integrity hurts the Celtics in the long run. Kobe’s actions will insure a top five pick, a lack of integrity paying off for the Lakers. What a country.

  6. sportsfan18 - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    We’ll never know…

    Was Kobe healthy but the team wanted to tank?

    Is Kobe NOT healthy and Father Time is catching up to him?

    Either way, the team and Kobe made it appear as if he’d come back.

    The Lakers are a mess right now… but they’ve been so good for so long that their fans can’t really complain too much at all…

    Of course they are entering another “dark” period for them (which is still great for damn near every other team).

    They won at title in 1988 and then went dark until 2000.

    Then they went from their title in 2002 until their next title in 2009.

    Well, this will be year 3 without a title and next yr will be year 4.

    Does this stretch to 7 yrs like before? More?

  7. jimsjam33 - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Oh my . What a shock ! Please .

  8. 32magicman - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:26 AM

    Money well spent….. Not!!!

  9. antistratfordian - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:25 AM

    Whatever.

  10. cowpiesnotcowboys - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:44 AM

    The Lakers would have been far better off if they had amnestied Kobe instead of extending him. They got very little production from him this year and the next two years won’t be all that much better. His body simply has too much mileage on it.

  11. mauldawg - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:50 AM

    Who cares!

  12. otistaylor89 - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    How many 36 year olds have come back from missing almost a full season after playing close to the number of years Kobe has played? Jordan?
    That wasn’t pretty to watch….

  13. florida727 - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    This is the ultimate “so what” story. At least for this year, the Lakers are irrelevant, they know it, Kobe knows it, even their fans know it. There would be, literally, only two reasons he plays again this season: 1) sell tickets in the rafters if there are any left, and 2) get him some playing time against the kind of real speed you can’t simulate in practice. That’s it. Otherwise, he’s done for this season. There is no point in him risking injury for them the remainder of this year.

  14. ravenswhat - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    He will never be the same. Time to hang it up Kobe.

    • money2long - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      Of course he won’t be the same.
      Doesn’t mean he won’t be effective
      You guys need a reminder. Ah. Reminder. Ah.

  15. omniusprime - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    Sad that Kobe will miss basically a while season but best to not risk another injury playing for a cellar dweller team. When it comes to shutting things down it’s also time for the Lakers to announce the long overdue firing of Dumbtoni and Trash Nash.

    Time to let Kurt Rambis run the team the rest of the season and to let the young guards know that they won’t have to sit on the bench while that worthless old geezer Trash Nash makes a fool of himself on the court. It’s time for Jerky Boy Jimmy to admit he and Kupcake made major mistakes.

    Oh and the biggest mistake of all was not hiring Phil Jackson back when they had the chance. Now Phil will be heading up the front office for the Knicks which means they’ll be a much better team in the future. It’s no wonder Laker fans are deserting the franchise in droves. I won’t waste my time watching another Laker game until they get rid of the trash and get back to building teams the way Dr. Jerry Buss did, with big men who dominate the boards. Poor Pau Gasol can’t do it all himself, he needs help in the paint like from a real center.

    Fire Dumbtoni & Trash Nash Now!

  16. 6stn - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Would he settle for just being effective? Time and/or injury catch up to most athletes. No DH-equivalant rule in the NBA. Knees goeth before the pride.

  17. unxpexted1 - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    He may not be as effective but he did drop 20 points his third game back. It wasn’t like he coulnd’t play anymore.

    I will say this for Kobe. WIth the NBA becoming more and more athletic I think it makes it more difficult for a wing player and guards to stay in the league past their prime.

  18. the8man - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    The Lakers are done. And unless a couple of bottom feeding POS NBA franchises belly up and give LA their superstarts for nothing, which is entirely possible and has happened before, they won’t win a damn thing when Kobe does come back either.

    Which suits some of us just fine….

  19. thraiderskin - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Thank god… I really like watching Kobe play, but I’d prefer him to come back strong, chippy and angry.

    • mogogo1 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      Except he’ll also be coming back old, gimpy and with not enough guys to help him.

  20. lmoneyfresh - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Remember when all the Laker fans said Kobe would be back in no time and would will his team to win after his achilles injury? Kobe won’t accept being injured everybody! His will is too strong! Guess what, father time will win every time.

  21. andreboy1 - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    Fairwell, my fair lady!!!

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