Say it ain’t so. According to Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant‘s season is over. Bryant tore his rotator cuff in the second half of Wednesday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans. The news comes 24 hours after Bryant was voted in as a starter for the NBA All-Star game, that spot will likely go to the deserving James Harden. The bigger question we have to ask is “Does Kobe hang it up?”
Bryant has now missed huge chunks of three straight seasons and he isn’t getting any younger. He passed his idol Michael Jordan on the NBA all-time scoring list this season and his chances of winning a title with the Lakers right now are absolutely zero, so retirement is a possibility. The Lakers still owe him $24 million so there’s that, but his body may not be able to handle another long rehab.
The first and most important thing to do is get his body healthy–there’s life beyond basketball believe it or not. Second, enjoy All-Star weekend in New York and get a feel for what playing in New York is. If Bryant does decide to come back for one more season don’t put it past Phil Jackson to try and lure him to a rebuilt Knicks team for one last go around. I doubt Bryant hangs it up, he wants to retire on his terms much like Derek Jeter did in his final Yankee season.
For now Lakers fans remember the good times and start scouting the top draft prospects.