by CAMILLE PANGGAT
Kobe Bryant’s fans received devastating news Thursday when it was announced by the Los Angeles Lakers organization that the 36-year old guard is out indefinitely due to a right shoulder injury. Bryant tore his rotator cuff Wednesday night during the Lakers’ 96-80 loss against the New Orleans Pelicans on the road.
Bryant’s injury came with 4:14 left in the third quarter of the game as he drove down the baseline and went for a two handed dunk. The 19-year veteran grabbed his shoulder as he ran down the court, clearly experiencing significant pain. Bryant checked out of the game within a few minutes, but was surprisingly checked back in during the fourth quarter. However, Lakers coach Byron Scott immediately saw that Bryant was favoring his left arm as he was dribbling, rebounding, and even shooting with his left hand. Coach Scott then decided to take Bryant out, saying “Obviously after I saw that everything he did was with the left hand, I knew then, let’s get him out of there.”
As of the play, which some sources say only aggravated a shoulder injury that Bryant was already suffering from since the preseason, the 19-year veteran said, “It felt fine when I went up, didn’t feel too good when I came down.”
The third all-time leading scorer in NBA history decided on Monday to undergo surgery to repair his torn rotator cuff. Bryant will have the surgery done on Wednesday and will have to go through months of gruelling rehabilitation.
With their star seemingly out of the picture for the rest of the season, the Lakers will surely have a more difficult time trying to turn this season around and prevent having a second consecutive losing season for the first time in over twenty years.