Lakers Get A Win, Lose Kobe Bryant To Achilles Injury

Darius Soriano —  April 12, 2013

The Lakers won a game but lost their leader.

In a cruel twist to an already unbelievably hard season, Kobe Bryant made a move he’s made a million other times in his career but collapsed to the ground in the process. The news of of the injury is not good:

If true — and based off Kobe’s comments after the game, it seems like the MRI will only confirm what he knows to be true — this news is simply crushing. As a fan of the game of basketball I’m extremely saddened to see such a great player go down with this type of injury. As a fan of the Lakers, I’m devastated.

I’ll have more on thoughts on Kobe later, but for now I can only say it’s somewhat fitting that the greatest warrior I’ve ever seen play this game went out on his shield in a game against the team called the Warriors.

That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. I will have more at some point tomorrow.

Darius Soriano

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82 responses to Lakers Get A Win, Lose Kobe Bryant To Achilles Injury

  1. As I pointed out yesterday: Kobe’s recent work makes MDA’s prattle about managing his minutes seem, well, stupid. I guess his minutes are being managed by Kobe playing every single minute of every game.

    ————————————–

    I get that Kobe was leaving it all out on the floor to get his team to the playoffs, but man that’s seeming like a high price to pay now, to say the least. I wonder if he’s done for good?

    Kobe, I mean. Couldn’t care less what happens to MDA.

  2. The last time I felt like this was watching Magic’s press conference.

    I have no words. Completely heart broken because it had come too soon before I had expected it.

    I knew that Kobe’s career was drawing to a close, and even a confirmed achilles tear doesn’t necessarily feel like it is over, but it sure feels that way.

    I mean think about it. Doesn’t it just FEEL like this is how he was meant to go out? Do or die game? Injured twice previous in the game and had played through it? Just dragged his team back from a nine point deficit with the season on the line? It’s a Hollywood ending all the way.

    Kobe’s talking like he has the injury, but it isn’t over. And that’s the player we’ve all watched.

    But just in case it is.

    Thank you Kobe.

    Thank you for everything.

  3. 17 years we’ve watched Kobe play and avoid serious injuries. 17 years of rolling the dice, and the last few weeks of non-stop 47+ minute games was rolling them when they were loaded.

    Soul-crushing is the only way to describe this. No one ever seems to come back the same from an achilles rupture. He should be able to come back in 6 months with his manic dedication to fitness, but it can take up to a year. The question now becomes what we can do in the offseason to shore things up around him so that his last stand and recovery can mean something.

  4. He’s a warrior. Rather think positive than have a funeral tonight. Season was done regardless, and if he works hard (which he will) he should be good before xmas. Gotta be positive.

  5. Hope KB recovers soon and be as healthy as ever after resting his whole body…

  6. That’s awful. To see the twitter fall out go to http://www.tweetslosangeles.com/lakers.

  7. This is just the Lakers season. Kobe’s injury just puts the exclamation point on the hardest, most difficult season he and the Lakers have had to endure. There’s nothing to do now except pray for Kobe and hope the Lakers use this as motivation to play as a team. And I hope they can do it.

  8. If they confirm a torn Achilles tomorrow, then it puts an exclamation mark that this is simply one of the worst seasons in Lakers history.

    Suddenly making the playoffs doesn’t seem important at all. What matters now is that Kobe has a successful rehab and returns next season hopefully close to his former self.

    (Sighs, groans, curses, etc…)

  9. CANNOT BLIEVE IT. God bless KOBE.

  10. If it still hasn’t sinked in with any of you, that maybe the LAST TIME you’ll ever see Kobe play again.

  11. Here is Kobe’s post game interview about his injury.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs9esdFRlS0&feature=youtu.be

  12. I put this terrible moment on this weak coach. Red lining his star in his 17th year, playing him 48 minutes until he blew up the engine. It’s the coaches job the protect the player and the franchise from blowing up the players. Kobe had hurt himself twice and was not replaced. He then compensated for those injuries and the engine blew up.

    You flattened the tires on Nash by playing him 35 minutes a game and then blew up the engine by over playing the franchise. The guy better be gone the day after the season ends. I predict he will never coach in the NBA again after NY and then blowing up the Lakers.

    We love ya Kobe.

  13. Even as an avid writer, words cannot describe the utter dread & building cancer that is overtaking my heart right now. I was fortunate enough to watch #8 in the “One-Two Punch” era with Shaq live @ staples and It’s been 2 years since I last saw him work his magic live; I REALLY hope this is not a career-ending type of injury, which it very well can be for a 35yr old. Like a loved one passing away, I want to witness the Mamba spew venom on the court one last time. The proverbial “Basketball Gods” have not only cursed this season for our Purple & Gold but have already sentenced us to Hell, I’m not a religious man by any means but I do believe in the concept of Karma. & in no universe does he deserve to go out like this. I saw a Tropicana orange juice commercial the other day with the tagline “Put good in, get good out”. As much as he’s been clawing & pushing this team to barely keep their heads above the water-does he deserve this? HELL NO! 1st step of grief is denial & I’m telling myself that he’s gonna come back & the MRI machine is on our side. LA has the $ & Technology. We can rebuild him. Make him stronger, faster, & dare I say it…better than ever before. IF there is one warrior out in the cosmos, it’s Jelly Bean. I’ve watched Jordan growing up as well & I’ve never seen him go as hard as Kobe’s been doing this year – mins & intensity wise given age/miles. This is my & most of our idols were talking about here. Kobe’s been saying how he might retire next year because of the intense grind, preparation & training it takes for him to both mentally & physically play @ the immense level he’s been going @ [including the last two Olympics!] Multiple people have been saying that he teared up afterwards-who in their right mind wouldn’t after they poured their heart & soul in the game they love? Now with this & the downtime it carries, I really hope it doesn’t sway his plans toward retirement [Especially if Dwight leaves] but fuels his fire the way it has all his career. Please Kobe, move to Germany & do whatever it takes & grace us just one last season with your presence!!

  14. Kobe said he couldn’t even feel his Achilles after the play when he was sitting on the ground poking at it. Not that it was numb couldn’t feel it, but it WASN’T THERE couldn’t feel it. D’Antoni has ended the career of one of the greatest players to play the game.

  15. I recall having this sick feeling in my stomach when Magic announced his retirement.

    But this feeling is even worse. Knowing those two free throws by Kobe maybe the last time ill ever get to watch Kobe score again.

  16. Kobe is my favorite player and favorite athlete ever. I began watching him in the rookie game and watched him win the Dunk Contest the same night. From that day, this 10 year old kid was hooked. The greatest moment of my life was when I flew down to Orlando and caught games 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals and watched Kobe get redemption. Now 16+ years after that fateful All-Star Weekend, I sit here literally sick to my stomach wanting to cry thinking I’ve watched the athlete I grew up adoring play his last game. Warrior is the only word that comes to mind when I think about 24. He KILLED himself these past 2 weeks to put us in a position to make the playoffs and this is what happens. He deserves so, SO much better. He may come back and may be fantastic, but for all intents and purposes, this is probably the last we’ve ever seen of the Black Mamba and it breaks my damn heart.

  17. Ding says it’s believed to be a “complete tear”. Regardless, we all know Kobe and what he’s about. He’ll look at it as a challenge, assess all the angles, get the best possible medical options and advice post-surgery. And, I’m sure that whatever the ultimate endgame is, he will do the kind of rehab that most of can’t even comprehend. In the meantime he’ll be watching game tape and telling the guys what to expect from now until the end of the Lakers run this season, whenever that is.

  18. Kevin Ding is saying that its going to be a complete tear of the achilles tendon. What is the usual recovery time for tha kind of injury?

  19. I hope Mitch has the common sense to pick up Steven Jackson who was released by Spurs. He plays the SG position and is head and heals better then bad Meeks.

    Please make the move as you get an exception for playoffs with injury.

    Do it MITCH!

  20. Sign Stephen Jackson!!!!!

  21. 12:38 my time.

    Happy Birthday to me! :)

    It’s strange. I’m 34 as of 38 minutes ago. My entire adult life has basically been Kobe’s NBA career.

    So many emotions. Gratitude. Despair. Pain. Nostalgia. I became a Laker fan because of Magic, but Kobe has been such a central part of my life through both the highs and the lows that I can’t even begin to describe how much watching him go down like this hurts.

  22. That commenter who was trolling and all the people who responded to him have had their comments deleted. No point in giving that type of stuff any shine, guys.

    As for Stephen Jackson, he’s not playoff eligible so signing him is pointless.

  23. You’re right. Thanks Darius.

  24. My concern is with Kobe above all else for everything he’s done for us. I’m sitting here with tears rolling down my face. But I’m also a Laker fan, and the question has to be posed: isn’t it better for us to miss the playoffs and lose this pick to the Suns and get to keep our pick in a STACKED 2014 draft where we’ll almost certainly be Lottery bound?

  25. Darius are you sure. I thought if he replaces a season ending injury he can be playoff eligible.

  26. Kobe’s gonna be ok. He will come back and sooner than anyone could expect, as that’s who he is. There is no one out there who can train and recover like this guy…and for those of you who are really devoted to him and shuddered at the thought of his retirement, I think, ironically, this keeps him in the league longer as he now has a new mountain to climb. the only real question is will he be compromised. You would think it has to effect his hops somewhat and his mobility, but Marc Stein is already out there tweeting about Dominique’s recovery and kobe is a much better and more disciplined athlete than even that guy who was a true superstar in his time. The fact that Kobe is 34 and Wilkins was 31, is irrelevant, imho.

    At least I hope so, because no one can want this guy to go down in this way. And in this dark time, I think its good to think of the silver linings.

  27. Ken,
    I believe the rule has to do with whether or not the player who’s picked up was on a roster past a certain date. That date was in March and Jackson was on the Spurs at that time. So, he’s not playoff eligible for a new team. The Lakers can still pick up a player who would be eligible for the playoffs, but it can’t be someone who was on a roster past that date. I don’t believe the injury exception that you’re discussing (which I’m not even sure exists), overrides that rule.

  28. An Achilles tear should take about 6 to 9 months to heal. So hopefully Kobe will return between October and January but most likely the latter. I’m sure he will return and even though he will most likely not be the same (but hopefully as close to 100% as possible), he will still be a prolific scorer. Many players in this league rely on their gifted athleticism to get their points, but even though Kobe is still somewhat athletic, he gets a lot of his points off of amazing footwork and pure skill. Even though he did get procedures to turn back the hands of time, his masterful moves have allowed him to beat defenders without really using that much athleticism. So thanks to his insane work ethic and his obsession of being the greatest student of the game, he has been able to still be very, very efficient at his advanced age, which has not really been seen other than probably MJ and maybe Tim Duncan. Heck, even if he had a 10 inch vertical, he would probably still score 20 points easily with his shimmies, spin moves, up and unders, and hesitations. So here’s to Kobe, who I’ve grown up watching since his rookie year when I was five and my favorite athlete of all time, for a speedy recovery. And I know he will come back strong and be determined to get that last ring before he rides into the sunset on his OWN terms.

  29. Mike D’ Antoni should never be allowed to enter Staples Center again. Ever. He should NEVER even be allowed to show his face again in this city.

    He rode Kobe until he was done. Same way he did to Amare.

  30. Ok Darius. They were discussing it on Laker line but it wasn’t convincing. To bad because he fits and would be cool to have him start Sunday against Pop who threw him out the door. Think of the drama!

  31. I will be interested to see how this affects Howard. This is his chance to

    a) Show that he should/can be the focal point of the offense
    b) Make himself a hero to the fans by beasting the team into the playoffs in the last two games, playing well in RD 1 and scaring the 1 seed, and then, of course, staying,

    Or, he might decide the Lakers are f’d and that he would rather play for Mark Cuban.

    As to Kobe, not much to say, really. I feel like everybody else does.

  32. Jayz

    Mike Daaaa will never coach in the NBA again. He burned down New York and blew up LA. Who would be foolish enough to hire a loser a 4th time. (other then Jimbo of course).

    Will go down in history as the worse one year hire in LA Sports History.

  33. Some of you need to realize that the overwhelming despair is not revolving around the Lakers’ chances in the Playoffs.

    I – and likely the majority of Lakers fans – have already accepted the fact that we’re not really a contender at this point. Sure, our team can still compete with the roster, though keep in mind that MWP is fresh off surgery and Nash’s age continues to show.

    This is about KOBE BRYANT. The sadness is that one of the best all-time has to suffer through this tragic in what has already been a disastrous season. A player whose game is pure art, with a will to win second to none and dedication praised by all.

    I almost teared up at the possibility that this may have been the last game we got to witness true GREATNESS from Kobe Bryant. Even if he recovers, Kobe will be halfway through 35, then what happens? Conditioning? Coming off the bench? Maybe the recovery time is so long that he decides to call it quits rather than hang around as a mediocre player.

    I am thankful that I got to witness the entire game, watched Kobe drain those two critical 3-pointers that tied us up, and then the final determined free throws made literally on his last legs.

    I am beyond sadness. I will remain optimistic that I shall see a glimmer of his greatness at least once again, though this will forever be one of the worst days of my life.

  34. rr,

    interesting….This is a big opportunity for Dwight and it will also be real interesting if Nash comes back. Can they develop some chemistry with just Nash/Dwight and Pau..Given that Pau seems to be much rejuvenated by the time off he had during the recovery this could still be a pretty good team if they want to be. We saw some of that in the last 3 minutes tonight.

    Still very, very sad night for the Lakers and all basketball fans. Best wishes to you Kobe, you are an unbelievable warrior.

  35. “If they confirm a torn Achilles tomorrow”

    It’s ruptured. The MRI is otherwise only accurate out to 92% (owing to a number of reasons). See the one tweet in the page in the link above, i.e., when Kobe and Pau both knew that he wasn’t kicked, it was his achilles. And we saw him grab it immediately. We also hear him now uttering that dreadful word, to wit, “popped”. Was just like Pau (that grab and the self report following that it “popped”).

    They only make the diagnosis of the rupture because he’s already “failed” one or more physical tests of the integrity of the tendon. They either squeezed along the tendon and came to a gap (since the tendon is torn in two, so now longer one piece, so a gap), or they had him in one and/or two positions, squeezed his calf and his foot did not move downward (no planter flexion). Kobe himself said:

    I tried to maybe put pressure on my heel, but there was nothing there.

    And so he also did not have the downward foot movement on the testing. So you get the point re both the test and his words, the achilles tendon joins the heel to the calf muscle. So his brain told the calf muscle to move the tendon to put pressure on the heel. No joy. Since the tendon is torn in two. For the same reason there is no response (downward foot movement) when, on the physical tests, the calf is squeezed. Basically stated, if you cannot point or put your foot downward, you ruptured your achilles tendon.

    Here’s more on the symptoms:

    Sharp pain and a pop heard at the time of complete rupture are commonly reported. Patients often describe a sensation of being kicked in the Achilles tendon.

    See the tweet or the report that Kobe and/or Pau asked the defender if he kicked him. When he said, “no”, they both knew it was Kobe’s achilles tendon.

    Here’s why they do the pinching along the length of the tendon:

    A palpable defect may be present in the tendon initially.

    After that, the swelling comes on, and so you don’t have the same ability to externally feel the injury (as it were).

    And here’s the other test:

    The Thompson test (see Fig. 5–39) is positive with complete Achilles tendon rupture. A positive test occurs when squeezing the calf fails to plantar flex the foot because of a lack of continuity of the tendon (rupture).

    Thompson Test
    The patient is placed prone, with both feet extended off the end of the table. Both calf muscles are squeezed by the examiner. If the tendon is intact, the foot will plantar flex when the calf is squeezed. If the tendon is ruptured, normal plantar flexion will not occur (a positive Thompson test).

    So they either pinched along the tendon and felt a gap or he failed the Thompson test, or both. And so that’s why they said what they said about probable tear.

    Re the recovery timeline:

    Progressive resistance exercises for the calf muscles should be started between 8 and 10 weeks. Running may be resumed after 4 to 6 months if strength is 70% of the uninvolved leg. Maximal plantar flexion power may not return for 12 months or more.

    Lastly, Kobe, if you read FB&G, know that you are in our prayers.

  36. Very very very sad. Worst than the feeling when we lost the 2008 finals. Its like seeing a brother fall down.

  37. This is the image I’m choosing to watch before bed. Thought you all would enjoy it too. Maybe someday we’ll see him do it again…

    http://youtu.be/79y_YCkHhso

  38. A player near the end of his career gives it all playing 47+ minutes a game to give his team a chance to the playoff, what else do we expect from Kobe? Best of luck Kobe.

  39. “Mike D’ Antoni should never be allowed to enter Staples Center again. Ever. He should NEVER even be allowed to show his face again in this city.

    He rode Kobe until he was done. Same way he did to Amare.”

    Amen.

    Nothing but sadness for Kobe. Mike D, shame on you!

  40. Thank you, Kobe, for giving your all this season, for being the one guy to truly show the same passion everyday that the fans have for this franchise. In a season where the big controversy is about players resting, you did things I did not think were possible. Regardless of what happens from here on out, I will never forget your performance this year.

    Time to step up, fellas. Dwight/Pau/Metta — let’s GO!

  41. “It’s fueling me,” Bryant said. “I can feel it already. Players at this stage of their careers and then they pop their Achilles and they say they’re never going to come back the same. I can hear it already. It’s pissing me off right now.”

    Classic Kobe! I believe we’ll see him next season — can’t end like this.

  42. For 17 years minus two games, Kobe lived out his childhood fantasy for all of us to see. Suddenly, that fantasy snapped just as sharply as that achilles tendon. He will not be leading the Lakers into the playoffs this year. He will suddenly be facing the reality he put off for so many years. His basketball fantasy as we all know it is gone–and suddenly he’ll have to grow up.

    Oh, he might rehab in time for next season, but it would be as a different player–maybe not a starter. More likely, he’ll miss an entire season, and still won’t recognise himself on a basketball court. Maybe he’ll visit Chauncy Billups and Derrick Rose–or watch them if they play . It would be exactly what he could be facing next year.

    I’d prefer to see him take a full year off before he even considers coming back. It would be a first attempt to face reality–a life beyond basketball with his legendary status still intact. It might give him enough time to reconcile his facilitor and savior personas, and return as a completely different basketball player.

    One thing for sure. The fantasy evaporated with his tears.

  43. Dont blame fish April 13, 2013 at 6:14 am

    What a sad day. After all he is human. No words, 17 years watching kobe playing, thats more than half of my life. Hope he comeback strong

  44. any news on Kobe’s MRI?
    ESPN news sucks, going nuts with their out of this world speculation regarding Kobe’s future.

    I pray for Kobe’s fast recovery. He said he’ll undergo surgery today? got this thru his FB.
    I pray for Lakers team to fight until the last game of this season. We can secure 8th spot and start from there.
    but honestly, im really sad. :(

  45. As a die hard Celtic fan this is horrible news. This kid is a warrior in every sense. You know who I blame? Jim Buss. Are youkidding me? Hiring D’Antoni for this team??! Want to run with an ancient Nash and a 17 year vet Kobe?

    They should have hired Phil Jackson. Absolutely a no brainer. What? He wanted to save some money? How much has this move cost them? Phil would have featured the bigs, made Kobe’s life uch easier, no need to roll 48 minutes back to back. Also, Phil would have pulled Kobe after the second injury last night. Leaving him out there was just nuts.

    I hope he comes back and gives it one more championship run. (And loses to Boston in 7)

  46. MD spoke too soon re: playing inside out. PJ had to force that issue, to make sure the high percentage shot (Shaq first) was taken. The Lakers are now going to be unfortunately predictable, but hopefully do it in a successful manner. Damn, Bean…I’m sure we ain’t seen the last of you yet.

  47. Now the 80 million dollar question:

    Do the Lakers amnesty Kobe this summer, knowing that best case scenario is that he plays in december but likely scenario is he misses an entire season, and then try to re-sign him after a year’s recovery in 2014?

  48. Harvey M April 12, 2013 at 11:57 pm –
    excellent post Harvey, i totally agree
    rr´s post about Dwight and how he´ll face this supreme challenge is also spot on, thanks rr
    LOVE YOU MAMBA! Wishing you the very best and a speedy recovery

  49. CDog, that question is discussed here:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/5-on-5-130413/kobe-play-again-lakers-experts-weigh-in

    I am so heartbroken. This season has been so painful and yet filled with so many moments of beauty along the way, most of them delivered by Kobe. The whole things has been… operatic.

  50. Thanks for the Knowledge Slappy.

    Couldn’t sleep @ all last night. If I were able to, then maybe, after I’d awoken, I could force myself to believe that Kobe rupturing his Achilles was nothing more than the worst possible nightmare a lifetime Lakers Fan could have. However, reality would then set in because I’d recognize that the reason why I couldn’t sleep in the first place is because of the unfortunate circumstance that transpired during last night’s game. Before I even attempted to shut my eyes for the night.

    Personally, as far as sadness in the realms of sports, Kobe’s injury is right there with Magic’s Announcement in ’91 and the sight of Larry Holmes beating up on Muhammad Ali in ’80. In each case, I felt as if I’d lost a loved one (no matter how misguided those thoughts might be).

    Get well Kobe. The sport of Basketball doesn’t seem as important to me today. I just know in my heart that we haven’t seen the last of the Black Mamba, in Staples, sporting that Forum Blue & Gold Uniform, down 1 with 3 seconds left on the clock, shooting a turnaround fadeaway jumper on an opponent as time expires, that ends up .. Wet

  51. Can we please stop with the “Mike D’Antoni was a Jim Buss hire” talk? This report has been out in the media for a long time:

    http://www.foxsportswest.com/nba/los-angeles-lakers/story/Jerry-Buss-had-final-call-on-DAntoni-dec?blockID=820341

    Why people choose to ignore speaks more to them — and who they’d rather blame (in this case Jim Buss) — for the Lakers’ woes than anything else.

  52. You DON’T amnesty family!!!! Can the media please be done with that nonsense

  53. Tra, yes the Holmes-Ali (love you Muhammad!!) was gut-wrenching, i was crying like a baby back then; & as for Magic, anyone who was in L.A. that day knows, thank heavens he´s fine today
    Just read Slappy´s full post on a torn achilles injury, thanks indeed Slappy

  54. This is so disheartening. He just went all-out until his body couldn’t take it anymore. This was an overuse injury, there’s no doubt in my mind.

    I should probably temper what I say in the heat of the moment … but **** you, D’Antoni. Just **** you. I hope Staples starts a Fire D’Antoni chant for every remaining regular season game.

  55. Darius, a report like that doesn’t mean much. Why would you unquestioningly believe an insider source like that, when ulterior motives (protecting Jim Buss) easily trump just telling plainly what happened. I appreciate you censoring my comments though, thanks.

  56. Totally Mike D’ Antonio’s fault. That tear was caused by overcompensation for his other leg injuries. I said it before, shut the season down. now we may have witnessed his last NBA game. let me repeat in all caps: LAST NBA GAME.

    Well done Mike, well done.

  57. Kobe said he would talk to players who had been through this before. I bet the first player he will talk to is Adrian Peterson.

  58. Exactly what about my above two line entry triggered your stupid spam filter?

  59. Blizzard,
    That’s not the only place I’ve read that report. I’ve read it from several other sources who cover the team, many of whom are quite reputable. But that’s beside the point.

    Believe that report or don’t, both Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss have stated multiple times that all major decisions are made between the three of them and that Jerry Buss had the final say. This is also something that’s typically disregarded in favor of the “let’s blame Jim Buss” train.

    I’m not saying Jim Buss is blameless here. I’m sure he had input and from several other reports that I read, it was Kupchak who continued to preach patience and wanted to keep Brown on with Jim and Jerry Buss more in line with changing coaches. Everything that I’ve read (and heard through the grapevine) also point to Jerry always wanting a return to “Showtime” style basketball, however. So, I’m one to believe that he had sway over this hire considering the style of play this coach promotes.

  60. Hey Craig,
    Why don’t you calm down, huh? I don’t control the “stupid spam” filter. And if you saw the behind the scenes workings of this site, you’d know better than to be so bent out of shape over it.

  61. sald0gg – excellent video-post, thanks; & i love Hamblen saying `you bad m***** f*****!!´at the end of regulation, hahaha, fantastic – hope you slept as well as could be, sald0gg

  62. Water under the bridge, but keeping Bickerstaff on as coach wouldn’t have been the worse idea. The team played well under him – (small sample size I know) – and it might have kept expectations in check to have a steady, seasoned vet handling the team, instead of the “genius” marque name type of guy the team ended up with.

  63. Guys here’s the evidence that’s it’s MDA’s fault:
    From ESPN:
    “Bryant played an average of 45.7 minutes in his past seven games including Friday’s leading up to the injury,”

    “”I’m f-ing tired,” Bryant said, when asked why his voice sounded so rough. Bryant is one of the best-conditioned athletes on the planet. He puts his body through rigorous workouts during the season and over the summers to be able to handle workloads like this. But even he might have a limit.”

    Gasol was quoted. “He needs his legs to be effective. And with the amount of minutes he’s playing lately, it’s normal that he’s tired at the end of games..He’s just playing a lot of minutes. I already said two games ago that I was concerned about it.”

    “79 seconds, the total amount of time Bryant has sat in the Los Angeles Lakers’ last two games (PRIOR TO INJURY) — both wins — coming just shy of going the distance and playing the maximum 96 minutes”

    AND FINALLY: “Bryant hyperextended his left knee early in the half, but didn’t come out while the Lakers chased a victory that kept them one game ahead of Utah for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.
    Bryant then hurt himself seriously on a relatively innocent drive to the hoop, altering the Lakers’ season and possibly changing NBA history.”

    MDA! MDA! MDA! WHEN I SEE YOU, YOU ARE DOA!

  64. From ESPN:
    “He said he’s going to retire after a year so we’re going to get our money’s worth for two years” -MIKE D’ ANTONI

    Remember that quote guys, next game, boo pringles or you do not love the lakers or kobe at all.
    I’m bringing about a dozen of my homies to the next home game, and they’re bringing friends, and we’re all going to boo Mike’ D. Show him how we feel for taking out 9 months out of kobe’s last two years, a-hole!

  65. Just a quick bucket of water to throw on the “lynch MDA” calls.

    Kobe himself was asked about his minutes and whether they may have been a factor, and he stated that the minutes were “necessary”.

    Personally, I think it’s part of a coaches’ job to protect their players and override them at certain times and therefore MDA cannot be completely excused, but it’s not like he was the sole culprit of riding Kobe so hard.

  66. Its 1am here in PH and I really want some damn updates on Kobe’s MRI.

  67. Kobe’s injury isn’t d’antoni’s fault even though it didn’t help he was playing all the minutes. They needed Kobe to play all the minutes to win and Kobe wasn’t going to take himself out. Maybe picking up a guard at the trade deadline would’ve helped but who knows. What we do know is Kobe may never be Kobe again. He’ll come back but it’s a high probability we won’t get the Kobe we had this year or before. All the physical and mental toughness on this team rooted from him now that’s gone. A demanding teammate who pushing you to your limit is gone instead a guy who puts blame on others rather than taking it upon himself to get things done is the leader now. 17 years and Kobe never took a night off it’s mind boggling to think of Kobe not donning a Lakers jersey opening night next year. All the intensity, the will, heroics, shot making, passing, occasional spectacular defense at this point is gone from the perimeter. Penning in 25 pts 5 reb 5 ast before a game starts in the sg column is no more. The winding down shot clock 3s, miraculous insurmountable comebacks, the 20 point quarters, 3 pointers nobody else in the world is taking that go in is all gone. Everything becomes methodical now. And Dwight Howard is the go to guy. Yikes. Being a year in year out championship contender in the West is no more without Kobe. The front office will probably move forward to build around a player who hasn’t earned it at all this year. One can only hope Lakers fans get the excitement from a in transition 30 footer or buzzer beater again. Best Recovery to Kobe!

  68. Jim C. – well said

  69. A shout out to all Mike D’Antoni lovers and apologists.

    “He said he’s going to retire after a year so we’re going to get our money’s worth for two years” -MIKE D’ ANTONI

  70. Man, this is just devastating. It’s a really somber mood this morning. I’ve been watching Kobe since I was 11 years old. Like many of you I’ve seen him literally and figuratively walk on water all these years. I’m ready to see him do it one more time. I’m fully confident that he’ll be back and look forward to his return. I’m rockin the old school 8 today in anticipation of seeing the unmatched footwork, unwavering resolve, and maniacal work ethic again.

  71. Kobe played an average of 45.7 minutes in his past seven games including Friday’s leading up to the injury. Mike D’ Antoni rested kobe a total of 79 seconds’ in the last two games. (PRIOR TO INJURY) Kobe hyperextended his left knee early in the half, but Mike D’ Antoni opted to keep him in the game, despite knowledge of this fact, leading to kobe overcompensating and hurting himself seriously on a relatively innocent drive to the hoop.

    “He said he’s going to retire after a year so we’re going to get our money’s worth for two years” -MIKE D’ ANTONI

  72. @forthelulz, don´t get me wrong dude, i questioned KB´s insane workload and how Antoni (no D) was using him recently,
    BUT my point is that it seems insulting to Kobe himself to place `the blame´ solely on this coach, i mean who know his body better than Mamba? I imagine he´d have spoken to the coaching staff if he felt he couldn´t have carried the load – & unfortunately, injuries DO occur (geez, this season our Purple & Gold has been the poster child for `em!)
    In light of this, shouldn´t all of us accept reality and send our collective energy to pushing our beloved Lakers into the playoffs? Pau´s back, DH will hopefully step up big (read rr´s post form last night) and even Metta´s slowly getting his legs back; i know we won´t get far, but we must show our Laker Pride!!
    So you can go to Staples with all your pals and boo the heck outta Antoni (no D) all you want brother, all the power to ya, but remember this: it´s not gonna change a thing, Kobe´s out till next season.
    a TRUE fan NEVER LOSES FAITH

  73. I’m sure we’ll see Kobe back. Likely not the same Kobe who, in that Hawks game at Staples late, saw the direct line to the basket and drove to the hole from outside the 3 PT line and slammed it over the one fellow there, but he’ll be back. He will rather likely still be able to post guys up, do the up and under, and he can always you use the leg without the tendon rupture to jump off of on the fade-away jumper.

    Might otherwise do this legacy some good, if it’s possible to phrase the matter in those terms, since instead of commenting on his presumed physical gifts, the new meme will be how in the close game late, Kobe used his veteran wiles to lead his team to victory. So he’ll add more of a cerebral meme to his legacy (not that he isn’t that now, but there won’t be that same tendency to ascribe it to all to physical gift when he’ll be as old as he is and coming back from a ruptured achilles tendon).

    And as we all know, in the meantime, since some want the ball down low, there is the extreme need for that now, so Dwight and Pau, I’m looking for each of you to drop 30 a game. This is why, by the way, to beat my particular or favorite dead horse, I still am fuming over the no double low post scheme to date. At least if they’d tried that every now and again, they be better prepared for this circumstance. I want to see them both down low, setting cross screens for each other, feeding the lob to the other when the double comes, etc. And some staggered screens in the lane for a penetrating guard won’t hurt either.

    And to take an angle that surely won’t win me any friends, but for those who still bandy about the Pau is soft label, this will be the time when we see what he has left in the tank. Since I’m not one of those who thinks that he’s soft, I have no problem in going with the, he’s going to drop 30+ a game over these next two. Call it his chance to prove his critics wrong and win some games for Kobe. I suspect that we’ll see the Pau who torched team USA in the Olympics. Though would help if Nash is on the floor with him.

    And to end with the truly sad and sordid aspect of this whole event, it is this injury that means that we might very well finally see some Ebanks and some more of Morris. Should have seen that already, since for a team that is woeful on defense, Howard, Ebanks and Morris give the team three plus defenders on the floor. Sounds crazy, I know but they could try the new Big 3, assuming Nash plays, of Nash, Pau and Dwight, with the defense of Morris and Ebanks on the floor as well.

    Sorry, I lied, or almost forgot, but Darius, not to pick at open wounds, but I don’t believe for a moment that coach was Jerry’s call. He hadn’t been to a game for over 2 seasons and he was busy fighting merely to live. Your piece has what every other piece has, the singular failure to have a quote from Jerry himself saying that it was his decision. There would be no room for any debate, speculation, call it whatever you want, had that been done. At any time. It was never done. And it didn’t need a presser, but someone dialing the phone, asking to speak with Mr. Ding, or whoever, and then handing the phone to Jerry who simply says, Mike was my call. End of telephone call. Again, that never happened. And the other side to the story, let’s assume it was Jerry, the same Jerry who hadn’t been to a game in two years and was fighting to merely live at the time. So probably not the same Jerry who told Jack Kent Cooke & Co. that if they didn’t draft Magic, he wasn’t buying the team (Jerry West wanted to draft Moncrief).
    And so, I’m going with the Bill Simmons view on this one, and he’s right about very nearly everything he says here:

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8872264/lakers

    The relevant part is the end of the piece, Simmons’ last words on the team there.

  74. If you think Mike D’Antoni will not be coaching the Lakers next year you better hope he resigns, because it is highly unlikely that ownership will fire him, pay him and Brown, AND pay for a new coach to preside over a team without Kobe Bryant.

    For those hoping for Phil to return to the Laker sideline, can you really see him come back to coach a bad, old, slow, thin team that lacks a single superstar? Can you see the Buss family paying PJ for that, while still paying Brown and MDA?

    Last night’s development was not about this year. The Lakers had no shot in a 1st round matchup with OKC. Last night was about next year, and it just increased the odds that the 2013/2014 Lakers have Mike D’Antoni, and don’t have Kobe Bryant. Those seeking a comparison to Adrian Peterson are missing the more obvious and appropriate comparison to Chauncey Billups….

  75. What an agonizing end to what has to be the most disappointing season in Lakers history. Even the most skeptical analysts believed the Lakers could make a run at winning the West this season.
    It’s going to be fascinating to see how Kobe and the Lakers organization bounces back from this. Take emotion out of it and amnesty makes the most sense. The Lakers could then resign him in 2014-2015 surrounded by a (hopefully) healthy Dwight, new core and new coach.

  76. I haven’t posted all season, but just had to now. Kobe, I feel horrible. As you said you don’t deserve this. You’re one of the all-time greats and all I can say is get better. Come back, but don’t rush it. You’ve earned the right to come back only when fully ready. Laker fans will be waiting.

    As far as the injury (or cause thereof) goes, I say blame Phil Jackson. *Years* of too many minutes, too many HeroBall minutes finally caught up with Kobe. Every year the refrain was to cut back Kobe’s minutes, to get his teammates more involved, but it never happened. Too many games where Phil put the ball in your hands for minutes/quarters on end and had the rest of players stand around watching…

    Of course, I’m being facetious in blaming Phil. Well, mostly facetious.

    For all the people saying this injury is due to too many minutes then you simply *cannot* dismiss the heavy (and HARD) minutes that Kobe played during the PJ years.

    Do I think that overuse by D’Antoni contributed to the injury? Very possible. But in that case I *also* think the overuse by PJ throughout Kobe’s career could be a contributing factor. Kobe’s insane competitive desire that caused him to play so many minutes is also involved. But mostly, I just blame bad luck. Achilles injuries are pretty flukey, trying to assign unarguable blame to someone just doesn’t make sense to me.

    I get it, emotions are running high but that doesn’t mean we have to go out and find someone to blame (and curse out). It seems that there are too many people trying to use (exploit?) Kobe’s injury to justify how “right’ they were in not liking D’Antoni’s hire.

    Anyway, Kobe, I’ll be waiting for your return.

  77. All these years we have been eager to put narrative after narrative in front of this man. Some narratives he chose not to follow. They were too pat, too typical, to easy. In other words, not Kobe. Some he has followed and his approval of these paths are marked with the skins he has shed on them.

    I do not know what form we will see him in next. Skin shed in favor of player-coach for the rest of this season? Blue sheet and face mask, ready for anesthesia? Nike workout-gear glistening in sweat. A millionaire’s suit on a sideline watching a team fight without him? This is not the last shedding. There is still a trail for Kobe to struggle and crawls though and to leave yet more discarded skin. We can’t pretend to know what the shape of this skin will take. We can only really marval at the forms already discarded. Skinny-punk skin. Arrogant-8 skin. Champion’s skin. 81-point game skin. Skin with a new 24 on it’s back. Beat the Celtics skin. Then this most glorious skin. We just witnessed one of the great seasons of NBA basketball from one of the greatest players to sweat on an NBA hardwood. I shed tears last night. The beauty of his game, the power of his will, the terms in which he plays, the greatness of his skill, the inspiration he generates for his fellow warriors… There is such a lot of Kobe that finds parallels in Mighty Achilles. I hate how obvious this narrative is. It’s too perfect. There is no Kobe but Kobe. Whatever Kobe returns to the floor, I will marval at the heroic return from Hades. Kobe does not look back.

    The Lakers beat a very good playoff team last night. They did it as a team. They did it with a level of intensity that I hope will be duplicated, again and again, until the whole team is either a champion or on its shield. This is a good time for the team to take on the identity of their leader. I don’t see how the perimeter defense does not suffer from this loss but maybe Nash returns and the offense runs in a manner that fits the talents of this team. We will see,

    Gasol was Gasol last night. Okay, it was against David Lee but even he doesn’t give up a triple double every night.

    Personally, I think it borders on stupid to blame MDA and Jimmy for what happened to Kobe. We talk, again and again, about Kobe’s stubborn will and then think anyone could keep him out of the game if he thought they needed him? I remember complaints about PJ’s rotation as regards Kobe’s minutes. Like Achilles, you love Kobe or you hate him, but you can’t control him. The man put his word on the Lakers making the playoffs. He was not about to let Jodie “Patroclus” Meeks decide the good of his word. If you think it’s MDA’s fault, you haven’t paid attention to Kobe’s career. There is nobody to blame here. Kobe went down the same way he comes up, as a warrior, leaving everything there on the floor. His sweat and his skin are his footprints.

  78. incredibly sad day,prayers for my best player..

  79. Funky,

    The KBros were where you are on MDA two days ago; they are not there now, so you might want to rethink that. If the Lakers can MDA, I think it will be Shaw, not Phil. But there is zero question in my mind that this has increased the chance that D’Antoni will get fired, even though once could argue that it is unfair. Howard does not seem to like him; the fans hate him, he played Kobe massive minutes and now Kobe has suffered what is possibly a career-ending injury. So we will see.

    As to the team…like I said, I could see this pushing Howard out, or I could see it pulling him in. No way to know yet.

  80. P. Ami, if you don’t see the difference between PJ playing a younger Kobe heavy minutes and MDA playing Kobe 48 minutes a game at age 48, you’re not really trying. Kobe has been giving postgame interviews bent over with hands on knees for weeks now. He is totally spent. It’s the coach’s job to have the vision and strength to control minutes. It’s damn near the only thing an NBA coach does during games.

    Rr, from your keyboard to god’s ears re: Shaw. The MDA experiment seems to have run its course. Nobody can say he inherited a good situation or had an easy task; but nobody can reasonably say that he has done anything but fail. Injuries or not, a full season has passed and this team still has no identity, still comes out flat in big games, still plays terrible defense, and only found its groove offensively by turning a 34 year old shooting guard with multiple hand problems into a 48 minute per night, Chris Paul-style ball dominant PG. It can reasonably be said that every player on the roster had a subpar year other than Kobe and Earl Clark. In other words, the coach made nobody better….

  81. P.Ami, awesome post.

    Kobe, I just can’t form the words to say anything poignant in regards to what you have done in a Lakers uniform. My tears are saying all that I cannot.

    Kobe Bean Bryant, I look forward to whatever you choose to do. If you choose to come back next year, it is a guaranteed sell out and the most highly rated game in Lakers history.

    #Mambawillreturn