Kobe to miss rest of season?
While the Lakers attempted to surge past the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night, their comeback was put to an end when Kobe Bryant limped off of the court. Bryant attempted a game-tying shot in the final minutes and landed awkwardly on his ankle, missing the rest of the game and possibly the rest of the season.
Hawks defender Dahntay Jones was crowding Bryant’s space on the shot, and when Bryant came back down after the shot he landed on one of Jones’ feet. While Jones can hardly be accused of crowding Bryant with the intent to harm him, Kobe was irate after the game and likely frustrated at the possibility of missing the remainder of the season, especially when the underperforming Lakers are trying to make a run at the playoffs.
Bryant claimed the play was dangerous, citing the rules that defensive players must abide by when going up against any player making a shot.
“Officials really need to protect shooters. Defensive players, you can contest shots, but you can’t just walk underneath players. That’s standards for the shooter,” Bryant said. “You just can’t go under the shooters, man. It’s a dangerous play.”
Kobe made his desire for revenge against Jones clear, although that may be delayed a while due to his injury.
“I can’t get my mind past the fact that I have to wait a year to get revenge,” Bryant said after the game.
Bryant has long been famous for his ability to play past pain. In six-plus seasons, he has missed only 22 games, so the thought of missing the remainder of the season due to a bad play is nearly unbelievable for Bryant and the surging Lakers. The Lakers sit at 34-32 as they continue to trudge through the 2012-2013 season. Without Kobe, their chances of making the playoffs have gone down quite a bit but there is still time for them to pull forward in the standings.