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It’s official: Lakers rule out Kobe Bryant for remainder of NBA season

Mar 12, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

We told you this was coming on Tuesday night, but now the Lakers have made it official:

Kobe Bryant is out for the remainder of this NBA season.

“Obviously this has been a frustrating and disappointing season, but I appreciate all the support I’ve received from the Lakers and the fans, and look forward to being back and ready for the start of training camp,” Bryant said in a statement released by the team.

Bryant missed the start of the season as he recovered from an Achilles injury last season. He returned and played in six games before he suffered a fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee. That was supposed to keep him out just a couple months, but it has dragged on longer than that.

“With Kobe’s injury still not healed, the amount of time he’d need to rehab and be ready to play, and the amount of time remaining in the season, we’ve simply run out of time for him to return,” long time Lakers trainer Gary Vitti said in a statement. “However, Kobe will have the entire offseason to heal, rehab and prepare, and we look forward to him being 100 percent for the start of next season.”

The Lakers signed Bryant to a two-year, $48 million extension this season despite the injuries. That was a smart business move in this sense — the Lakers are going to be a rebuilding team for at least another season, likely more, and through that the team has to sell the fans something they want to see. That is Kobe. Getting to see him before he retires will fill the expensive courtside seats, the luxury boxes, he will keep the television ratings relatively high and keep the sponsors in the fold.

Who will coach the Lakers, what the roster will look like next season remains to be seen. (Lakers fans, if the roster is going to be bad don’t be shocked to see Mike D’Antoni back at the helm. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.) But Kobe will be the focus.

Like Steve Nash, I hope Kobe does recover all the way and get back. One of the great players ever to lace them up, he deserves to leave the game in a couple years on his terms, not because his body betrayed him.

  1. extheexec - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:21 PM


    • stops777 - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      Actually excited to see how this plays out and how he looks in training camp. I can see Kobe with a chip on his shoulder to come back strong and put up a great possible last year. With many of the superstars not coming back to form, along with the most of the hype in the NBA these days on LBJ, KD, and Melo, I can see Kobe making sure he goes out on top. His drive, passion, and competitiveness is in comparison to only one other player I’ve ever watched.

  2. cantonbound13 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Lottery all day!

    • bougin89 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      cc: shuttaman

  3. unxpexted1 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    I thought it was official in the last post where it was official.

    • calkinsrob - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      lol yea I thought I was going crazy, then figured I had just seen this story on espn or another sports site. PBT literally has this story twice haha!

  4. rodge1 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Wow… I guarantee the Laker fans still believe he deserves to be paid so much.

    • spthegr8 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      Aren’t you supposed to be the bottom of the Pyramid @ Heat cheerleading practice this afternoon with they other Male Heat groupie’s..??

  5. dablakdrphil - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Duh most of my fellow Laker fans knew he would be done for the season back in January

    There’s no point in sacrificing your body and going all out for this current Lakers team. It’s not worth it and furthermore this may help the Lakers in getting a top 5 draft pick should the Lakers continue to pile up the losses. With an extra 6 months of recovery time his knee and achilles should be 1000% by the start of Training Camp

    • dablakdrphil - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:32 PM


    • romestar82 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      the biggest heist in L.A history

    • antistratfordian - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      Possible scenario: His next injury will be the other knee – and he will retire.

      HGH won’t help this time.

      • dablakdrphil - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        It wasn’t the biggest heist in LA, stop that now

        First off the Lakers decided to pay Bryant “under the previous CBA” $30 million on the last season of his contract, you would be a fool to turn down that much money.

        Secondly he’s not going to get all that $30 million because out here in California we are the most expensive tax state in all of the U.S. (wonder why Steve Nash doesn’t want Child Support in California and rather keep it in Phoenix)

        And Third the man rehab extremely hard and tried to get back on the court as quickly as possible, you can’t predict injuries it’s part of the game

      • spthegr8 - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:57 PM

        A LeBron fan making a HGH reference…. Pot, meet kettle!!!

      • antistratfordian - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        You get what you give, sir.

      • mackcarrington - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM

        It’s considered low class to wish injury upon someone.
        And yes. You are HOPING that Kobe gets injured again and retires.
        What did Kobe ever do to YOU?

      • antistratfordian - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        Wish? Learn how to read, Mark.

        I’m only presenting a real scientific possibility – it is proven that injuring one knee dramatically increases your chances for injuring the opposite knee. Considering his current history that is, as I said, a “possible scenario.”

        And I don’t care if Kobe retires or doesn’t – he’s been irrelevant for years.

      • mackcarrington - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        Your shallow transparency doesn’t fool me.
        And neither does you semantics.

      • antistratfordian - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:38 PM

        Meh. You’re just cynical and mean spirited. I would never wish for any athlete to get injured – I’m not that type of fan. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were though.

      • Professor Fate - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        An admonishment to “learn how to read” while calling someone by the wrong name. Good work. You can disguise your pathetic desire to see Bryant gone with disingenuous attempts to label it “scientific” if you want, but all your posts about him reveal your true nature.

        There are haters of just about every big NBA star on this site, but your efforts are above and beyond. Truly elevated to the level of obsession.

      • antistratfordian - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:40 PM

        His name is Mark. Mack is a nickname.

        The truth is really hurting you, Professor Fat.

      • mackcarrington - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:54 PM

        I try to refrain from calling people “idiots” on internet message boards, but I’ll make an exception just for you.
        My name isn’t “Mark’ you flaming idiot.
        Your pompous stupidity is profound.

      • antistratfordian - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:59 PM

        Yeah, yeah, yeah… Mark. Take a pill and relax, kid.

      • mackcarrington - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:45 PM

        Your lack of respect is profound also, Earl.
        Yeah, I’ll call you Earl from now on.

      • antistratfordian - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:30 AM

        Listen, Mark… this garbage you and your butt buddy Prof. Fat are spewing – I heard it earlier this year when I said Kobe is likely to sustain an injury on his other leg. I said the same thing about Derrick Rose. I didn’t wish injury to either of them – just presenting what the research has shown. Of course, sensitive Kobe fans overreacted to that then like you are now. But guess what? Kobe is still in that danger zone today.

        Now… stop being so emotionally attached to Kobrick and go be a nuisance somewhere else.

      • bougin89 - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:55 AM


        This could very well be my last reply to you as you show your true colors on this board.

        Internet trolls are usually referred to as narcissistic, machiavellian, psychopathic, and sadistic. Do you really pride yourself on being narcisstic and machiavellian? You’re a constant running contradiction on these blogs.

        If you play basketball like you comment on here you’d be the guy that cherry picks at low competition open gyms. Nobody likes that guy. You’re a bandwagon, front running fan. How many of your “friends” are bandwagon front running fans? I would assume none. If you asked your “friends” I would think they would say the same.

      • mackcarrington - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        Earl, I’m nobody’s fanboy. I slam Kobe as much as anybody for his sometimes prickish attitude.
        I simply call it as I see it. It seems to me that YOU are the one who is being a little sensitive to being called out for hoping that players get injured. Must have struck a nerve there. Now you resorted to personal and disrespectful name calling like a third grader. Look Earl, go hug your LeBron fuzzy doll and polish your knob while watching his highlights.

      • antistratfordian - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        “I simply call it as I see it.”

        Well you were way off this time, guy. Better luck next time.

      • bougin89 - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:17 AM


        Nice job showing your true colors here.

        Internet trolls are usually referred to as narcissistic, machiavellian, psychopathic, and sadistic. Do you really pride yourself on being narcisstic and machiavellian? You’re a constant running contradiction on these blogs.

        If you play basketball like you comment on here you’d be the guy that cherry picks at low competition open gyms. Nobody likes that guy. You’re a bandwagon, front running fan. How many of your “friends” are bandwagon front running fans? I would assume none. If you asked your “friends” I would think they would say the same.

        Good luck with life, people like you need it.

      • antistratfordian - Mar 18, 2014 at 5:16 AM

        I’m glad you’ve taken such an keen interest in my activity on here. I’m flattered.

        I do play basketball, and I’m very good – when I was younger I was great. What kind of player was I at the gym? I was the guy who you immediately knew was better than you, and probably everybody else. I don’t do “low competition” – I’m also the type of guy who doesn’t play casual games of 21. I cannot stand playing against people who don’t care if they win or lose. But I digress.

      • bougin89 - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        Haha! Why would anyone who is actually a good player and confident with their abilities be an internet troll?

        Good luck with life, sir.

      • antistratfordian - Mar 24, 2014 at 5:57 PM

        They wouldn’t be…

        I don’t need any more luck, I’ve probably been blessed enough.

      • bougin89 - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        I hope you are blessed in life. It’s just odd you comment like a troll.

      • antistratfordian - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        I wish you well, as well, bougin. As I do all of my PBTeebers. We’re only talking about basketball here – not that important – this is why I don’t get into name-calling or anything like that. No reason to get personal for something like this. And I think you’re probably a stand up guy. I’m not a bad dude either. Really, I’m not.

        Take care.

      • bougin89 - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        You were the one that made it personal, you know. Anyways, I appreciate the respectful response. Have a good day, Anti.

  6. sportsfan18 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Kobe was paid well this season…

    He earned OVER $172,055 per MINUTE he was on the court this season…

    He played 177 min’s (less than 3 hrs) and he earned $30,453,805

    Oh, can’t forget the tens of millions he made via endorsements too… He collected OVER $60 million this year.

    And on top of that, Kobe and his agent were smart enough to somehow get an upfront payment at the beginning of the season and receive a check for $24 million all at once.

    Not a bad yr for the old guy…

    • sportsfan18 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      Poor guy is gonna suffer next year when he only makes $23.5 million for the whole season…

      And he’ll suffer the year after too when he makes $35 million to complete his two year $48.5 million heist… er contract…

      • bougin89 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        We’ll count the $35 million quote as a typo. The overall message of your post is noted though.

    • bougin89 - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      I do feel the need to defend him(as with all other athletes) in one way.

      Players risk injury and should be paid if they get injured doing their job. Also, players get paid to perform in games but the time spent playing in games is miniscule compared to the time they spend training, practicing, media/pr commitments, traveling(for their job, not leisure) etc. So to use minutes played as the only time he has “worked” isn’t very accurate, at all.

      I get where you are going though, most job’s demand a “bottom line” performance and Kobe was paid generously for little production on the court this season.

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        It’s not like it’s his fault he had little production this year too. This isn’t Andrew Bynum. Kobe didn’t say “Hey, I’m going to break my leg.” In fact, he did everything he could to get back on the court. But you can’t beat Father Time.

      • bougin89 - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        Agreed. Kobe’s work ethic shouldn’t be questioned.

  7. aboogy123456 - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    The money that he made this season was actually part of his last laker contract, not the new one that everyone criticizes him for. In April 2010 he signed a 3 year extension for $87 million. He won the championship and was finals MVP that year, and has been phenomenal for the past two seasons. You can’t predict injuries, but he brought in a lot more money to the lakers than they paid him.

  8. rodge1 - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:56 PM


    Shouldn’t you be somewhere learning to write English properly?

  9. spursareold - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    100% Gary? 100% of what?

    Kobe will never be more than a shadow of what he was before. Father Time catches us all, and it doesn’t matter how hard you work, it’s going to happen. If there were exceptions to this rule, MJ would still be playing.

  10. lakerade - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Third time’s a charm for the Future HOF backcourt pairing of Kobe & Nash? Or a hat trick for injuries instead? Only one way to find out…

  11. coffeeblack95616 - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    It is a joke that MLB and the NBA can’t void contracts. To pay a guy that kind of money (regardless of the pointless detail about taxes) to sit out a year is ridiculous. The Lakers know Kobe was at the tail end of his career but had to pay him for the legacy issue. It would look bad for them to have Kobe playing for some other team in the twilight of his career so they had to give him that contract. The Lakers will not be significant with Kobe any more. He was great and now he goes the way of Magic and Michael. Perhaps he might play an assisting role going forward, but he is no longer part of the NBA elite.
    But what a sweet financial deal! Good thing America’s economy isn’t set up that way. Oh wait, pension reform has yet to even be discussed seriously…

    • mackcarrington - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      It depends on what side of the “player or management” table you sit on, if it’s a joke.
      NFL players are constantly being forced to make the choice of taking a pay cut or being cut.
      So they try to get as much guaranteed money as they can upfront. I bet they wish they had as good a CBA
      as MLB or the NBA. If MLB and NBA owners get stuck with bad contracts they only have themselves to blame.

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