"I can't walk," Bryant said. "I tried to maybe put pressure on my heel, but there was nothing there."
Those words were the last thing Lakers fans did not want to hear as the team battles for a playoff spot.
The Lakers have had a turbulent season with coaching changes, Dwight Howard not meshing with the team, Pau Gasol out for most of the season with injury but now comes this which might end any playoff hopes the team had.
During the Lakers-Warriors game, Kobe Bryant suffered a possible torn Achilles tendon and if true, then his season is over and quite possibly his career.
The Lakers announced Friday Bryant has suffered a “probable torn left Achilles” tendon and will undergo an MRI to confirm the injury on Saturday. Bryant was averaging 27.3 points, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds but what is concerning is he had suffered two seperate injuries prior to the tear which begs the question — why didn't the coaching staff sit him?
Heading into the game, Bryant was averaging 38.5 minutes per game and add that to his advanced age (34), one has to wonder if he was pushing himself too much throughout the season which may have lent to this concerning injury.
Here is what Crossover's Phillip Rossman-Reich had to say about this news:
"Kobe Bryant's will to win is ultimately what has done him in. Bryant is so driven to win that he does not listen to pain, the natural response your body gives when something is not right. He played an entire season with a broken finger, because he needed to do it to help his team win. He played on a "severely sprained ankle" because his team needed him to do it.
Against Golden State on Friday, he banged knees with Harrison Barnes, collapsed in pain and kept playing… because his team needed him to do it. And so in the fourth quarter when he went down again clutching his leg and tried to play through it, his body finally could not support his will to win.
If the Lakers are going to hold on to the eighth seed in the West, they will have to do it without Kobe.
Gladiators like Bryant are supposed to go out in a blaze of glory fighting for championships, not to just sneak into the Playoffs. But Bryant just needed the opportunity to win and he would be damned if he did not do everything his team needed to win."
When asked if this injury would end his career, Bryant retorted "Are you kidding me?" and that it only adds to his growing fire to return.
But considering this possible major injury, it might be in the best interest of the Lakers and Bryant he does not rush back, manage his minutes if he does return to the court, and basically, stop over-extending himself.
Sure, the Lakers needed his all with the way their season has been going and how they can still make the playoffs but at what cost? At this point, the team has no choice but to march forward, make the postseason (currently at the 8th spot) and hope for Kobe to return next season.