VIDEO: Kobe Bryant opens up to TNT’s David Aldridge about his injury, this season and much more
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Since no one else wants to say it, I will.
It’s time Kobe Bryant, time to call it a season and hunker down and get ready for the 2014-15 season.
I don’t care that those words constitute blasphemy in the world of Kobe’s followers. Sometimes, even for a great player like Kobe, someone else has to make that call. And someone in the Lakers’ organization needs to make this one. Now that we know Kobe will miss another two to four weeks recovering from the fractured knee that has cost him the Lakers’ last 20 games (news courtesy of our man Kevin Ding from Bleacher Report).
The Lakers’ 4-16 record since the knee fracture was diagnosed is the most obvious nod to Kobe’s greatness but also the most glaring exhibit as to why he needs to forgo the rest of this season. His absence has already buried a mediocre team that is not going to recover in time to make a serious playoff push.
The hole is already too deep.
Kobe pushing it to get back in time to finish out this season in uniform would be a useless exercise for a player who should not be subject to playing exhibition games during the regular season at this stage of his career. Kobe can’t save the Lakers’ season, coach Mike D’Antoni‘s job or anything else by coming back this season. In fact, I think it helps the Lakers’ cause more if he stays off the court the rest of this season and focuses more on his recruiting effort for free agency. (Yeah, I know he said he’s not going to recruit Carmelo Anthony or anyone else, but don’t believe that hype!)
I don’t want to see a Lakers team with Kobe and Steve Nash (who is reportedly close to making his long-awaited return to active rotation duty soon) struggling to find their footing knowing that the season ends for the Lakers on April 16 against the San Antonio Spurs.
It would be different if Kobe was younger, if he was still in the physical prime of his career like Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose. Rushing back on young legs and resilient joints and bones is a completely different challenge than what Kobe is and will deal with in the future.
Let the rebuilding job begin in the Southland, with Kobe as chief recruiter. His legacy is safe. He can afford to have a six-game season given all that he’s done in his career.
Now it’s time for him to rest up and recharge for next season and put an end to the foolish speculation as to when he’ll come back and what sort of miracles he can whip up for the Lakers this season!