Reports: Kobe done for the season

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com




VIDEO: Kobe Bryant addressing the media during All-Star Weekend

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Kobe Bryant‘s 2013-14 season looks to be finished after just six games. All that’s left is the word from either Kobe or the Los Angeles Lakers, according to a report from Bleacher Report columnist Kevin Ding that broke late last night.

ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard confirmed what Ding first reported, saying that Bryant is indeed finished for the 2013-14 season:

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant will miss the remainder of the season, a league source confirmed to ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.

Bryant has been sidelined since Dec. 17 with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in the knee. He also missed the Lakers’ first 19 games while recovering from a torn Achilles in his left leg suffered last season.


The five-time NBA champion had called his recovery “a slow process” during a news conference held in New Orleans during All-Star Weekend last month.

Bryant was examined by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo on Feb. 21, and it was determined the 18-year veteran would be sidelined another three weeks before being re-evaluated because of continued pain, swelling and soreness in the knee.

This is yet another blow in a season full of them for Lakers fans, who have been reeling since last summer when Dwight Howard bolted from the scene via free agency for Houston. Bryant missing the remainder of the Lakers’ season, though, is just the latest dagger:

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to declare Bryant out for the rest of the 2013-14 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.

After his highly anticipated recovery from his torn left Achilles tendon suffered 11 months ago, Bryant played just six games before hurting his knee Dec. 17. He was encouraged by his performance in that final game, a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, unaware at the time that what he thought was a hyperextended knee was much more significant.

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.”

Bryant will still be expected to anchor the Lakers next season, when he will be 36. He signed a two-year, $48.5 million extension in November to remain the NBA’s highest-paid player and continue through the 2015-16 season, at which time he will consider retirement.

Although he has expressed hope the Lakers will reload this summer via free agency, indications are the team will piece together a roster around him again with an eye toward saving its salary-cap space for a rich 2015 free-agent class.

Despite Bryant’s limited availability, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said last month that no one should question Bryant’s ability to play “at a high level” next season.

Some of us have been calling for Bryant, as well as Steve Nash, to punt the remainder of this injury-plagued season for a while now. There’s nothing that can be salvaged from the wreckage of the tire fire that has gone on since last summer. Not even a few late-season appearances from one of the most beloved Lakers of all time.

When the trade deadline came and went last month and Pau Gasol was still a part of the team, it was clear that the Lakers were waving the white flag on this season and preparing for the future with a healthy Bryant as the centerpiece.

The timing of this pending announcement comes during the same week former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who joined forces with Bryant for five of his 11 titles as a coach, is set to be announced as the basketball operations chief (the title is reportedly still being negotiated) of the New York Knicks.

The Lakers chose Mike D’Antoni as their coach last season over a third round of Jackson, who has chosen not to return in that capacity this time around.

Bryant apparently won’t come back in any capacity this season, either. All that’s left is the official announcement, which could come before the end of the week.

49 Comments

  1. Hustle_Simmons says:

    Kobe should do a podcast or try modeling for Polo..

  2. Hustle_Simmons says:

    Kobe shoulda quit last season: lose an “achilles,” make both free throws then walk off like a G..

  3. Lucia Bertrand says:

    I love u more than words can express!!!!!! U r the one & only Black Mamba!!!!!!!!

  4. MAC says:

    I hope Kobe comes back and keeps trying, so he can show the world that he’s done. All his fans will applaud him, but he’ll know inside that he failed because he never accomplished what he really wanted: The sixth ring.

  5. Michael says:

    Everybody knows KOBE is one of the GOATS, at least he got his accolades in before injuries. I’m still upset grant hill, penny, and Tracy got injured so early. That would have been some great basketball to watch!

  6. Heisenberg says:

    I’m a laker fan. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. Lakers basketball will continue after Kobe hangs it all up.

  7. Aayush says:

    Kobe needs to hang them up already, the man has absolutely NOTHING to prove.

  8. Bryan says:

    The Lakers are hoping for a good draft pick. Kobe, Melo and Draft pick it can happen

  9. Jimmy says:

    Kobe just amazing…

  10. nastybrawler says:

    better retire kobe…hang around with d-rose and convince each other to stop playing!!!
    or play one on one for 82 games…full court…three refs…12 minutes each quarter

  11. carlos lopez says:

    kobe es m el mejor y la prosima temporada coby biene imparable lok pasa k kobe no tiene ayudande los angeles estan yeno de nobano hay k buscarle un companero a kobe el solo se echa el ekipo a riba de lok estoy seguro es k los angeles ban a firmar algin importante no seban akedar asi

  12. lisa kirby says:

    I lv kobe plz stop hating if he didnt hurt himself he would still be the best at age 35 he still was putting up 30 yall just kobe haters….Im a kobe fane unti the end WIN OR LOSE I LOVE ME SOME KOBE…

  13. thespectator says:

    call it hating or call it telling the truth, but lets take a gander at all of this…kobs is just not gonna be able to physically go out night after night and help this lakers team to a title…even if they were able to get melo and a good point guard…the west is so well built right now…and will continue to be the better conference…kobes body is beaking down, all those years of playing so many minutes and being required to do so much..it affects the body..mentality wise no one can compete with this guy but physically he cant keep going…and whats sad is hell be ready to go but unfortunately the team as constructed will not be able to push into the elite level and win a title..now if lakernation is lowering its standard and wants a playoff appearance, that may happen…just like the celtics, we are welcoming the dark rebuilding years for the lakers….but hey at least LA has the clippers…he really should retire tho, what a great career…5 rings is quite a lot…not too many players can say they are a 5time champ..hope it works out for him..great player to watch..just kills me how managemant put these players in tough spots and they end up wasting another season of their body..

  14. ImJusSayin says:

    For recruitment reasons it would be good if he came back.
    The fact that the run run injure my guys or pull their playing time to punish no D idiot is still in charge is a better reason to not come back. Also mr step into my daddy’s shoes but don’t have a clue is still trying to prove he knows something he don’t is still in charge.

  15. Weedmoker says:

    Hey Kobe, come to the Heat for 1 million like Oden. You will have an other ring then.:)

  16. manly22 says:

    dear kobe,

    hope to see you next season with another disappointing comeback..

    yours truly,

    Shaq

  17. chinus says:

    KOBE retire this season. and sign on Timberwolves next year and be like MIKE… haha

  18. The Ward says:

    Just retire already …

  19. The Ward says:

    Just retire already …..

  20. James Chaney says:

    KOBE AS THE BIGGEST FAN YOU HAVE (ME), YOU ALWAYS TAUGHT ME NOT TO QUIT!
    SO WITH THAT BEING SAID I ASK THAT WHEN YOU COME BACK BE THE BEST PLAYER ON THE COURT THE SMARTEST PLAYER AND DEFINATLY BE MY FAVORIT PLAYER IN THE GAME. YOU TUGHT ME DETICATION PRIDE AND WILLINGNESS TO LEARN THE GAME! SO EVERYONE PREPARE FOR KOBES RETURN BECAUSE THE WHOLE GAME IS ABOUT TO CHANGE! KOBE JUST GET ONE MORE RING PLEASE! #KobeNation #KobeFan #BestFan #HeComingBack

  21. KB24 rise above says:

    First of all, us Lakers are sitting 15th in the west so I think we’ll be just fine with him not returning this season. Kobe h8ters don’t know basketball. Know one is saying you have to be a fan of his, but to state that his past his prime and cant play anymore is a joke. All you people see is whats happened to him these last 2 seasons. So easy for you people to jump on the h8ter train. Study the game, know the game, and you will appreciate that he is one of the GOAT. A very short time ago he was dominating everybody. Your so caught up in flashy negative headlines about him that you don’t even realize HIS NOT DONE YET, and his only mistake was getting injured, not loosing his game.

  22. jfack says:

    well that was a bad fantasy draft pick

  23. sports fan says:

    Kobe will probably make a very good comeback next year but the rest of his team will be mediocre. The Lakers won’t have a chance next season because the west is so strong. Kobe’s only real shot is the ’15-’16 season when they’ll have cleared a lot of cap space. D’Antoni will be long gone and Nash should be retired by then. As long as Kobe can stay healthy in the last year of his contract then that will be his last best shot at a title. Even though the odds will still be highly against him.

  24. Murphulon says:

    Kobe Bryant should retire. He’s never going to be what he was. It’s over.

  25. JovanSTL says:

    The Kobe haters are relentless.. Either way, just come back next year, KB. We’re all believers

  26. S Heester says:

    You could put Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in their prime on that current LA team and they wouldn’t make the playoffs! Let alone a busted up, over the hill Kobe. He needs to retire, like 2 seasons ago.

  27. dmh says:

    Should or shoudn’t is between team officials, no matter how likely it is that Kobe is done this season. The problems with the lakers stem from Jim Buss and Mike D’Antoni. It is an arrogance that is wasting talent and wasting these players’ twilight years. Until Buss adjusts to the way the CBA and NBA overall are, the laker mystique will be just fond memories, and Kobe won’t get that 6th ring. However Buss may surprise me but, I am not holding my breath.

  28. Big Al of Bondi says:

    There’s no point for Kobe to return. The Lakers are a joke, and not even he can rescue them now. He should rest, demand for more decent teammates and come back on a high next year. Nash needs to go, maybe Pau also. Grab Carmelo when the opportunity comes, as well as a point guard that’s actually healthy and of starter quality. But keep Meeks and Young for supporting roles.

  29. I M My Own Fan says:

    @ Bryant: Do you want to bet a house in New York that you won’t win it all next year? You once said if anyone wanted to bet a house “show me the keys”

    Now, I’m ready to do it… You man enough to bet?

    It’s fair and square ‘cuz I don’t know what you’ve got left on yourself and who’s gonna join the Lakers in free agency when it stars in July 01… So, up for the bet?

  30. Lakers4Life says:

    It’s so funny to see these folks hating on KB24. If you have nothing good to say, keep it shut. I understand the critics but I think these people doesn’t even know basketball. I’m just saying.. Now i’m sure someone will reply to my post because I hurt their feelings.. Anyways, Lakers fans, look for an exciting season next year.. Lakers4Life!

  31. Eaglos says:

    Kobe should take example of Fisher and swallow the fact that he will either
    be a bench player who will contribute for 10-15min or he will become like
    Nash and will end his career in disgrace.

  32. okc2014 says:

    I agree. The consensus to me was that everyone knew he wasn’t returning. And for those who chose to look the other way did so because they simply wished he wouldn’t. Kobe Bryant is human. When we are hurt, we need to heal. Then we can make a comeback and be the best we can possibly be. I think the Lakers have had enough bad things happen to them. Hopefully they can have an exciting off season. I’m waiting for something spectacular to happen, like who will chose to play there this fall? And will they keep Gasol? And I’m not even a Lakers fan, but they need a lifeline, they really do…

  33. jonski22 says:

    Lakers 2013-14 season is dead. Let him rest and heal that leg and knees. Let Pau play but not to the extent that he will hurt himself. Let the younger guys do what Dumbtoni tell them, run, run, run, and shoot 3’s. As for Nash, a never big fan of Nash, but i love his personality and skills (when he was younger and making MVP’s)..but he is hurting the Lakers with his contract..that is one stupid mistake by Kupchak. Anyway, let us get some very good draft pick..keep them or trade them for Love or someone that can help the Lakers have another championship run. Go Lakers. Go Mamba!!!

  34. Rishabh says:

    i think kobe should return dis season to get in his regular form n shed off his rust n return in his dominating form

  35. Lakers fan8-24 says:

    I really think Kobe should sit down through the rest of this season,because let’s face it the Lakers are a goner this season, might as well take some time off and enjoy and wait for the next season

  36. Karlo Garcia says:

    A smart move by the Lakers. No point Kobe coming back without any reasoning. Rest up KB24 & get prepared for NBA 2014-15 season. Health is more important now than basketball.

  37. CERISIER says:

    Dear Kobe bryant, I hope to see you again next year for your final round
    best regards
    John

  38. Jackie Moon says:

    Lakers should amnest Bryant, ant start rebuilding. They won”t be able to do that with Kobe on the team and on the payroll

  39. All those words he said when he stated that he essentially guarantees everyone that he’ll be back this season lol…

  40. Fred says:

    Imagine that. Andrew Bynam has played more games than Kobe this season.

  41. Kome the Black Dumba says:

    Don’t care if you make it this season or next. Just don’t ruin LA’s next star by forcing them out. ie. Shaq, D12.

  42. Chris says:

    Kobe should go ahead and sit out the rest of the season. There’s no benefit to him coming back now. Rest up. Have another strong offseason and give it a go in 2014-2015.

    I think if he can shake loose from this last two years of injury he has 2 more good ones left.

    • Jason says:

      Rest up play 6 games again next season and get injured again. LA just waste their money that they could have used to sign a younger superstar.

    • E-SY says:

      I’m afraid he has no season left as good as he wishes to be. Maybe a couple of games, but no entire season. He will come back a mediocre guard and that would be fine for anybody out there but Kobe Bryant. The strong, fast and explosive guards around the league these days… he won’t be able to hang on. I think he could better retire than go out there and do nothing or get injured again next season…

      It’s a shame, but that era is over…

    • allaroundballer says:

      He got 5 rings, why would he want less money? Bryant already shared his income with oneal and others to collect his rings