After sitting out a second pre-season loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Kobe Bryant fans may have to face the fact that his reign is coming to a close.
Bryant sat on the bench to watch his team lose at the hands of the Clippers for the second time in one week. In Bryant’s first meeting with the other Los Angeles team, his shooting hand was injured after Clippers’ center DeAndre Jordan blocked the guard’s shot and knocked him to the floor.
In the Lakers’ second meeting with the Clippers, Bryant sat on the bench due to his injury, while his team was defeated 108-103.
Although Bryant has undergone a nearly 16-season turbulent career in the midst of public scandal, some believe that he is facing his toughest season yet. Skip Bayless, Sports analyst for ESPN’s “First Take,” spoke about Bryant’s current issues being the toughest of his career.
“Has there ever been a darker hour for Kobe as a pro basketball player? Wife filed for divorce, new coach which you’re not sure about, you got a new man in charge, the younger boss who clearly is not the biggest Kobe fan so he’s not betting on Kobe for the duration,” Bayless explained on First Take. “And now your knee, you think you got it heeled but then you got a bum wrist. So now it’s like the sky is falling on Kobe right now.”
Although Bryant’s official status has yet to be determined, the Los Angeles Times reported that the SG suffered a torn lunotriquetral ligament, which serves to hold the smaller bones in the outer part of the wrist together. While none of the Lakers’ staff seem to be giving many details involving Bryant’s injury, coach Mike Brown said he would not rule out the star guard playing in the regular season opener on Christmas day.
“I can’t speak to Sunday,” Brown said. “He may practice [Thursday], he may not. I’ll have a better feel soon.”
However Derek Fisher, the Lakers’ veteran starting point guard, seemed to have more confidence in Bryant’s abilities despite his injury.
“He'll cut his wrist off and play with one before he misses Sunday," said Fisher in a Los Angeles Times report. “He's one of the toughest if not toughest guys I've ever known in terms of playing with or through injuries. Come Sunday, we'll have the best of whatever he can do for us.”