Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant will miss “at least two more weeks, perhaps even another month”, according to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding. Bryant isn’t quite ready to undergo an MRI to check on the status of his bum knee yet.
Bryant has only played in 6 games this season after coming off a season-ending Achilles injury last year. The Lakers are 4-16 since Bryant’s latest injury and will enter their game tonight against the Indiana Pacers with a 16-29 record, which is 3rd “best” tanking record in the Western Conference.
With the Utah Jazz at 16-29 and the Sacramento Kings at 15-29 it is highly likely that the Lakers will have the worst record in the Conference at some point over the next month, especially if they continue to play like they have been recently. Tank City!
Some have questioned whether Kobe should even come back this season and it’s a fair question. Everyone knows that Bryant is 35 years old and in his 18th season in the league. He has played more minutes than any other player over the course of the past 18 seasons and is coming off TWO serious injuries. I would assume that he is still recovering from his Achilles injury and now he is trying to work back through a “fracture of his lateral tibial plateau”, whatever that is.
It would be totally understandable for Kobe to sit out the rest of the year and make sure he’s 100% healthy for next season; however, let’s be honest. It’s Kobe Bryant. He’s coming back this season. The only way I don’t see Kobe playing the rest of the year is if the knee doesn’t heal by the time we get to March and he hasn’t stepped on the court.
But some will ask why should Kobe even risk coming back? What’s the point?
Does there even need to be a point? The man is one of the ten greatest basketball players of all-time. But there is a point here. Kobe Bryant should try and come back this season because there is no substitute for an NBA game and the only way to get your game legs back is to actually go through the rigors of multiple NBA games. If we, as Laker fans, want the best Kobe Bryant possible in 2014-15 then we should be actively rooting for him to play 15-20 games this season. It’s not like having Kobe back is going to solve all of the Lakers’ problems. This is still a tank worthy team. An injured Kobe Bryant doesn’t solve that.