The Los Angeles Lakers are having a horrible season and superstar Kobe Bryant has missed most of it. On Wednesday morning, we got completely expected news as Bryant will reportedly be ruled out for the rest of the season.
Bryant’s recovery from a fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee has been slower than expected and given the Lakers’ 22-42 record it makes sense for the 35-year-old to sit for the rest of the year. After recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon suffered last season, Bryant played in just six games before injuring his knee.
Kevin Ding is reporting that the Lakers will announce that Bryant is going to miss the rest of the season at some point this week. It makes sense for the Lakers to just pack it in on this season and allow Bryant to take his time recovering. The team is currently tied for the fourth-worst record in the NBA and with an incredibly deep draft coming in June, tanking the rest of the way isn’t a bad option.
In the six games he played this season, Bryant averaged 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.2 steals in 29.5 minutes. He wasn’t his old self, but he was clearly still working his way back to 100 percent.
With Bryant being allowed to just relax and build up the strength in his leg slowly, there is a much better chance that he’ll be able to regain his full abilities. In hindsight, rushing back from his Achilles’ injury to play in December was probably a bad idea. The Lakers and Bryant probably won’t let that happen again.
Bryant signed an extension with the Lakers on November 25, and is under contract for two more years and will receive $48.5 million in the time.
The Lakers could wind up with the worst record in the Western Conference this year and are nowhere near playoff contention. Bringing Bryant back at this point would be a complete waste. This is the right decision.