After an off-season filled with intrigue and speculation, Kobe Bryant’s status for the Lakers season-opener against the Clippers is finally crystal clear.
D’Antoni finally rules Kobe out definitively for the season opener Tuesday.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 26, 2013
As Dave McMenamin notes above, the Lakers have ruled that Kobe won’t be available for the game, and this is hardly a shock. After all, Kobe was given a 6-to-9 month published timetable after tearing his achilles on April 12th, and it has been generally regarded as a long shot for him to return in time for the opener.
The general mystery surrounding his status is mostly a product of Kobe’s documented history as a player who will fight through injury. He famously played through a broken finger for weeks on end, has battled foot trouble at times, and seems to always be banged up at this advanced age.
The Lakers (ahem, Jim Buss) were busy on Friday declaring that they wanted Kobe to be a Laker for life, but the short term is much more in the air. This isn’t a year where the Lakers can afford to be overly cautious on Bryant if they want to have any chance at a playoff berth, and I’d expect to see him very soon.