The season appears to be officially over for Kobe Bryant after the superstar shooting guard simply wasn’t able to return from the knee fracture suffered in December according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report:
The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to declare Bryant out for the rest of the 2013-14 Lakers season later this week, according to team sources.
Although Kobe was reluctant to sit out for the rest of the season, the five-time NBA champion shutting it down was the right move. Returning for the rest of a lost season makes no sense for a 35-year-old that recently signed a two-year deal worth $48.5 million.
With the rest of the season and the upcoming off-season to get healthy, Kobe will have an opportunity to start fresh heading into the 2014-15 NBA season. Along with Kobe starting fresh, the Lakers could make some moves in the off-season to surround the veteran guard with the talent needed to compete in a vastly improved Western Conference.
The majority of the players on the current roster will become free agents this summer with Pau Gasol leading the way. Gasol is likely to leave the team in free agency, but nothing is set in stone at this point.
Needless to say, the future is uncertain for the storied franchise with plenty of options moving forward. Drastic changes may be on the horizon with Kobe potentially having another shot at winning that elusive sixth ring.
Kobe Bryant Explains The “Mamba Mentality” At The Kobe 9 Experience