Kobe Bryant to miss rest of season?
Kobe Bryant’s season could be over according to head coach Mike D’Antoni. Bryant has not been cleared to practice after fracturing his lateral tibial plateau in his left knee in a Dec. 17 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Bryant has been out more than 10 week since the Lakers tweeted he would miss six weeks due to a knee injury, and D’Antonio is unsure if Bryant should play again this season
“The thing is, does he get back and play some games to get his rhythm back for next year or just wait? I don’t know,” D’Antoni said in an interview on Monday.
With Nash and Bryant out and the team struggling, it may be in the best interest for the team to shut Bryant down for the season. Both Bryant and the Lakers need a full long-term rehabilitation, and they will need Bryant to be fully healthy as they continue the rebuilding process next season. This will give him time to fully heal and the Lakers time to focus on the future with Bryant leading an improved roster.
The Lakers will more than likely get a top seven or eight pick in the draft. They only control Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre past this season (the team has an option for Nick Young.) Most expect the Lakers to make a splash in free-agency and the team may cut Nash after the season to create roster space.
With a top pick, several higher level free-agents and a healthy Bryant, the Lakers could quickly be back on the rise next season. That should be the Lakers top focus; not rushing him back to try and lead a dreadful team to mediocrity. Of the Lakers 22 remaining games, 15 of them are against winning teams. The Lakers will fall further down the standings whether Bryant returns or not. Now the only question that remains is whether Mitch Kupchak, D’Antonio and those in management will make the correct decision and allow Bryant the proper time to heal. Bryant will be re-evaluated the week of March 14.
Sports-Kings’ Pass the Pill Contributor Mark Pace @THEMarkPace