Consider it another setback for the aging Kobe Bryant: The Lakers superstar won't be back on the court this season.
The LA Lakers have officially ruled Bryant out for the remainder of the season, the team announced Wednesday. Bryant is currently rehabbing from a fractured left knee.
He's played just six games this season. He had just returned from an Achilles injury before hurting his knee. (Via Sporting News)
Even if Bryant were able to return this season, it'd be tough for him to carry the Lakers to the playoffs. They're sitting in the cellar of the Western Conference. (Via NBA)
And that's part of the reason why ESPN commentator and former NBA head coach P.J. Carlesimo feels like this is a good move.
"Clearly the right thing to do. Kobe needs to rehab, get himself ready. That team needs to get themselves back together."
And NBA.com writer Sekou Smith also agrees. "There's nothing that can be salvaged from the wreckage of the tire fire that has gone on since last summer. ... When the trade deadline came and went last month and Pau Gasol was still a part of the team, it was clear that the Lakers were waving the white flag on this season and preparing for the future with a healthy Bryant as the centerpiece."
Still, the poor, Bryant-less season might end up costing the Lakers head coach his job.
Speaking on ESPN "First Take," NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith said he expects the Lakers to fire Mike D'Antoni at the end of the season — although ESPN never posted this to its site and Smith never tweeted about it. (Via Bleacher Report)