Kobe Bryant Running Out Of Time For 2013-14 Lakers Return

VIDEO: Kobe Bryant’s All-Star news conference

NEW ORLEANS – The specter of Kobe Bryant missing the rest of the season grew Sunday.

The Lakers star said his recovery from a fractured left knee is “coming slowly,” and the usual defiant tone about a 2013-14 return was noticeably replaced by a non-committal response.

“I haven’t been thinking about it,” Bryant told NBA.com when asked if feels he has played his last game of the season. “I keep my blinders on and just try to get healthy.”

Asked if was as confident as before he would play again before next season, he replied, “I’m in the same emotional state as I was before. Just keep my blinders on and just keep on working and just go from there.”

Bryant missed the first 19 games of the season while recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon, returned Dec. 8 against the Raptors, then fractured the knee Dec. 17 at Memphis after just six appearances at 29.5 minutes per. The original timetable was that he would miss approximately six weeks, or until the final days of January.

On Jan. 28, though, the Lakers announced Bryant still had pain and swelling in the knee and that his workouts would consist mostly of riding a stationary bike, part of a program of non-weight bearing exercises. That ruled him out of the All-Star game, after being voted a Western Conference starter by fans.

“It’s coming slowly,” he told a press conference at Smoothie King Center before the All-Star game. “It’s coming slowly. I’m optimistic coming into out of the break that I will have some improvements once I get back to L.A. and do a couple follow-ups and then go from there. But it’s been a slow process.”

The Lakers, tied with the Kings for last place in the Western Conference at 18-35, have 29 games remaining. With Bryant still unable to say when he plans to jump into practice, let alone actual action, the question becomes when he crosses the line of no return. At some point, and with L.A.’s spot in the standings, the decision has to be made whether it makes more sense for Bryant to aim for 2014-15 rather rejoin the team for 15 or 20 games this season.

The uncertainty comes with the trade deadline on Thursday, leaving the possibility that longtime Bryant favorite Pau Gasol will be traded and the Lakers’ roster the rest of the way might be an unknown.

“I hope not,” Bryant told NBA.com when asked if he thinks he has played his last game with Gasol. “I hope not. Big, big fan. You know how much I love Pau.”

Bryant also reiterated, though, that he will not be involved in front-office decisions, this week or moving into a summer with the Lakers hoping to be major players to re-shape the roster. He said he simply wants to know about any major decision before it happens rather than have to learn about it at the same time as the public.

78 Comments

  1. SMDH says:

    What is it with all these people trolling pretending to be nba players? tf??

  2. Bruce 15 says:

    I love Kobe

  3. JM says:

    He can’t salvage this Lakers’ season… No yolo!

  4. HAMZAH RASHAD says:

    kobe ur a legend so dont worry u will won another ring

  5. Kevin Hart says:

    I can play for the Lakers. Did you see me do those amazing layups at the past 3 All-Star games? That’s why I won MVP three times in a row. I can play the guard positions, heck I can play as a center or forward. I’ll be even better than Michael B. Jordan. I can even dunk Dwight Howard or Roy Hibbert. I can defend those guys anytime. Just watch me.

  6. Paul George says:

    KObe, i wanna be like you my idol

  7. ElBron James says:

    C’mon Kobe lest go to Cavs!

  8. James Naismith says:

    Silly kids.. where would you all be if it werent for me?

  9. me says:

    kobe is the best

  10. Dwyane Wade says:

    come here in miami Kobe

    we are still recruiting more franchise players who are willing to take paycuts just to win a championship :))

  11. Charles Barkley says:

    Man this is terrible. I’ll say what ya’ll don’t wanna say, but Kobe’s done. Just retire already.

  12. Carlos says:

    See how much Kobe means to the lakers and the league the west lost without him respect!!!

  13. I also has signed for the remainder of the season to play for the Lakers…we are making a comeback to take it all the way this year.

  14. Man I just signed this season to helped the Lakers win this year. Oh boy I can’t wait to team up especially being coached by Mike D’Antoni…let’s go purple and gold #9 is back.

  15. I would consider a comeback to the Lakers, but then again I don’t want my nickname to change to Mr.April

  16. Blake Griffin says:

    Hi, I’m Blake Griffin. The guy who dunked over a Kia. You see, many people have tried dunking over Toyotas or Hondas and failed miserably. Those cars aren’t made for being dunked on. This is why you should buy a Kia, to dunk over it. If you buy a Kia just to drive in it, you’re pretty much screwed because that isn’t why Kias are made for. If you’re one of those losers who drive cars instead, buy a Ford or Chevrolet. The Griffin Force approves this message.

  17. Patty says:

    I missed Kobe @ the All star Game.It was not the same due to Kobe not being there. This is why the west lost.

    Kobe cannot be replaced. He is the Greatest of the Greats. Kobe belongs on the Mountain of Mount Rush More.

  18. santa claus says:

    the kinds of people who believe rest will get kobe back to his old self are the kinds of people who believe in ME.

    father time is undefeated.

  19. Brian Scalabrine says:

    If Kobe wants to win another championship, he needs to play with me!!

  20. Kyrie Irving says:

    HE SHOULD JOIN THE CAVS WITH ME AND TOGETHER WE WILL WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

  21. Anthony says:

    Former NBA Comiss
    is the course of the fall of the Mighty L A Lakers

  22. David Stern says:

    I’ll make sure that Adam Silver will make the Lakers beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

  23. JR Smith says:

    i’ll untie your shoelaces first before you can win any rings..

  24. kobe_haterever says:

    cant you see.. kobe is finished… no more rings for you dude.. you just got lucky of winning those championship.. when there still no miami heat at that time. go retire nd wach tv men…

    • Carlos says:

      Kobe Bryant for life hater describes you miami we’ll never be the dynasty or any other team that the Lakers have etched in history

  25. Wolf says:

    Just sitting here waiting for that lbj guy to offer shane battier and “the future hall of famer” norris cole for kobe :DD

  26. Allen Iverson says:

    No more rings for you Kobe. I’m still mad. Can i borrow a $20?

  27. Mike D'antoni says:

    All the blame for the Lakers’ misery is on me. I’m too stupid to coach but too ego to change. I’m the reason the players are injuring ‘emselves one after another. Can anyone please kill me?

  28. James Yap says:

    im better than all of these nba players

  29. bigseanny says:

    Kobe might as well sit out this season and wait for next season.Why try to come back.

  30. Carmelo Anthony says:

    Kobe and Me will get the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Championship.. Lebron come with us.. GO LA!!

  31. Lebron says:

    I will never catch up to Kobe :[

  32. Glmus says:

    This season is over. Nash should also quit. Be part of the team by coaching up the young guys. Bring Manny back to see if he can make the team for next year. Maybe we can add Kyrie and Love for the future. The team we have now works hard and is learning. Let them enjoy the stabity of knowing who will be playing for the rest of the year. They are having fun and fans are enjoying them.

  33. Paolo says:

    Hope Kobe comes back soon. Lakers don’t have a chance of making the playoffs without him. Hope Nick Young comes back soon too.

  34. GOldenstatement says:

    who is bryant ?
    i only remember the winner, michael jordan.

  35. Dennis Rodman says:

    One more bottle, please!

  36. Shaquille O'Neal says:

    I just signed with the Lakers for the rest of the season

  37. Eaglos says:

    Kobe will turn out like Nash. He will play a few, miss a lot, play a few and so on.
    He will eventually retire battered and humiliated which would be a great shame.

  38. JaVale McGee says:

    What about me, I believe I can win the 2015 championship with the Nuggets alongside LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony coached by Phil Jackson.

  39. Stephen Curry says:

    The Warriors will become the next best in the West.

  40. nicky says:

    I like the west for the title run and they take it all GO GO GO GO GO OKC DURANT FOR FINALS MVP

  41. nahor88 says:

    I hope Kobe stays out the remainder of the year, the Lakers are done, there’s no point.
    The Clippers are gonna be LA’s big money team for a while now, even if the Lakers decide to make some big free agent moves. There’s just too much talent in the West.

    • nicky says:

      hey kobe don’t take any stupid chances on your return this season lakers are done this season that’s for sure
      but I am seeing next season as a bright one for you Kobe and your last chance for another title run and you will be healthy
      I just hope lakers don’t trade pau this would be the stupidest thing they will ever do

  42. Michael Jordan says:

    You are all cute.. keep it up..

  43. Mike says:

    Good decision, why will he comeback if the Lakers won’t even reach the Playoffs. Just prepare for next season.

  44. Michael Jordan says:

    Kobe will never be like me in this league. Never!

  45. Noli Manipol says:

    one more ring for your Filipino Fans…. Kobe

  46. LAinKolumpo says:

    wow… so many NBA stars are replying to this post… yeah….right

  47. Steve Nash says:

    Hey, I’ll be ready soon. I could be MVP? Let me try. I’m good for at least another 35 years.

  48. Orlando Magic says:

    Kobe will leave the Lakers and come play for the Magic. Mark these words. 2017 NBA Finals champions say what!

  49. Celtics Fan says:

    the worst way of retiring is from injury plagues. I want to see Kobe push for another title run before he retires but he won’t get that chance with the Lakers.

  50. LeBron James says:

    Noo Nooo Kobe Bryant will retire and he will not be getting his 6th ring when im playing on the court! – 2 Rings – 4Mvps – 10th AllStar Selection (Most Allstar vote getter 2014)

  51. Allen Iverson says:

    But you need practice…

  52. Damon says:

    Kobe will comeback in his own time. Time running for this season? who cares….Lakers team is going nowhere this season anyways. Kobe and the Lakers will be way better next season.

  53. Kobe Bryant before u leave da game jusss win one more ring like u said u need 6 ring like mj wish u luck on your recovery

  54. okc2014 says:

    Just listened to Kobe during the All-Star game. He’s upbeat, positive, and nowhere near speaking like he’s making a return anytime soon. I agree, time has run out for him this season. And that may already have been decided, and he already is aware. His body and mind are not in sync. It happens. Part of life.

    • Gw3 says:

      Ok here you go… Pau trade okafur and Washington pick 2014. Get rid of dantoni, to sign melo.. Two draft picks 1 top 6 great potential 1 top 20 great role player.. They’ll be good but not champs then sign Kevin love and win 2015-2016 haha kobe retires. Top 6 pick wiggins, embriid, kid from ucla, kid from Australia whomever will keep the lakers empire rolling… Can’t keep the champs down for 2 long 16 rings and counting