The Los Angeles Lakers pulled out a huge win on Friday that keeps them a game ahead of the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference playoff picture, but the win is looking like it came at a steep price. Despite winning and staying alive in the playoff hunt, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant missed the final three minutes of the game and will undergo an MRI to find out if he has a torn Achilles tendon.
After the game, Bryant was heard saying that he couldn’t walk, which means the prospects of him playing in the postseason should the Lakers make it, are incredibly slim.
“MRI, surgery, then recovery,” he said via FOX Sports, teary-eyed and emotional. ”I made a move I’ve made a million times, and (the Achilles) just popped. I can’t walk,” Bryant said. ”I tried to maybe put pressure on my heel, but there was nothing there.”
If Bryant has indeed torn his Achilles tendon, which is generally the consensus in terms of what the eventual MRI will reveal, the wind will have been effectively sucked out of the sails in Los Angeles and the Lakers are almost better off missing the playoffs rather than risking an embarrassing postseason collapse.
However, the very reason the team assembled superstars like Steve Nash and Dwight Howard would be to not only have three of the best players of all-time on the court at the same time, but to avoid a scenario where one player’s injury sinks the team’s championship dreams. Logic suggests that since the Lakers struggled all season long with a Kobe-Nash-Howard trifecta, a Nash-Howard duo is all but doomed.
But let’s not forget the players Howard and Nash are, and they are more than capable of lighting a fire under this Lakers team moving forward.
That being said, the loss of Kobe is perhaps the most devastating blow this Lakers team could have endured — and incase you haven’t been watching the freak show all season, they’ve endured more than their fair share. Some opposing fans are relishing in Kobe’s injury, which is not only sick but it’s missing the point.
Bryant may not be the best single player active today in terms of where his talent is compared head-to-head against the Kevin Durant’s and LeBron James’ of the world. But fi anyone has forgotten his importance to the Lakers, look no further than how fast they’ll likely implode under the weight of having him sitting on the side of the court with a shredded Achilles tendon.