Kobe Bryant suffered a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder in the loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday and as a result, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar could miss a considerable amount of time. It’s highly likely Kobe could miss the rest of the season, leaving the rest of his career in doubt.
On Thursday night, Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding caught up with Kobe’s former teammate and close friend, Pau Gasol. The Spaniard is having a bounce back season in his first year with the Chicago Bulls and was just named an All-Star starter for the Eastern Conference.
Gasol was asked about Kobe’s third major injury in as many years and said the following about his former teammate’s resolve:
“Injuries are a tough break, but he’ll continue to go, continue to fight through it,” Gasol said. “He loves the game. He’s such a huge competitor. And he’s very proud to represent the Lakers. It’s the only team he has played for, and he takes pride in that.”
The two-time NBA champion knows Kobe about as well as any other player, coach or executive in the NBA — outside of maybe Phil Jackson. Gasol believing that Bryant will simply fight through another tough injury isn’t surprising. The five-time All-Star has seen the superstar first-hand battling his way through pain throughout their time together in Los Angeles.
With Kobe admittedly considering retirement this season, the plot thickens in terms of whether he’ll simply walk away this summer and forego the $25 million he’s set to make in 2015-16. Gasol seems to believe that won’t be the case and Bryant will be back, but the future Hall of Famer’s future remains up in the air.
Lakers Kobe Bryant Tears Rotator Cuff