Rest was supposed to be the answer.

Kobe just had dead legs, nothing that a little time off couldn’t cure.

He was supposed to play Sunday — against a marquee match up in Brandon Roy — and dominate like we are used to seeing ‘The Black Mamba’ do.

Nope.

He looked old, slow, and stiff.

Mark Jackson said that Kobe needed more rest; that the Lakers should shut him down for the season.

I agree. Phil Jackson definitely need to shut down Kobe.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure it’s going to help.

What I saw from Kobe on Sunday, and what I’ve been seeing since he went 12-21 against the Atlanta Hawks, is a hurt Kobe Bryant.

Kobe’s legs aren’t dead, his finger isn’t bothering him anymore than it has this season, his KNEE is hurt — and I don’t think it’s going to get better.

Besides the fact that he was moving around the court without any conviction, (no real aggressive cuts to get open, jogging out to close out on shooters).

In the end. there were three plays in particular that really bothered me…

1. Kobe goes to his crossover, except his knee buckles, and he stumbles. He resets and goes back to the crossover except its way more controlled, and he dishes to Pau. A great play nonetheless, but his knee didn’t look good–it looked as if it just went out on him.

2. Kobe is trying to lock in on defense. He tries to turn and run with a defender and AGAIN his knee seems like it gives out and he stumbles.

3. Kobe is trying to run out after a missed Blazers shot only, instead of a rebound for the Lakers, the Blazers gets the offensive board and Kobe has to quickly get back. Normally he would plant hard and quickly get back into the picture, but this time, he sort of jumps to stop so he doesn’t have to really plant and drive.

There were also numerous times, when it just looked like Kobe was holding back — scared to really attack the defender or open up.

Now you’re probably saying: “If Kobe’s knee is hurt, then when did the injury occur?”

It happened against the Atlanta Hawks, when he allegedly tweaked his ankle. I spent an hour looking for a replay of this injury, but I came up with nothing.

However, when I first saw it, I my initial reaction was, “Damn, Kobe hurt his knee.”

I was relieved to hear that it was only an ankle, but my fears came storming back when Kobe showed up with a massive wrap, under his purple knee sleeve, the next game against the Utah Jazz.

Tell me something Laker fans, when a player hurts his “ankle” does he show up next game with a wrap on his knee?

Call it irony if you will, but this is when Kobe’s legs allegedly got tired, and his shooting slump began.

You know what all of this reminds me of? It reminds me of Kevin Garnett last year, when his knee buckled after he came down from a dunk.

The Boston Celtics sat him down hoping it was just a hyperextension, or some kind of small sprain, but it ended up being a season ending injury (a torn popliteus tendon) that required surgery.

However, while the Celtics hoped it would get better with rest, they kept the league and the fans, in a cloud of dust as to what was really bothering Garnett. Remember that they set multiple time tables for his return that never happened.

This sounds eerily similar to what we’re hearing about our Kobe.

First, he tweaked his ankle. Then his legs were tired, because he needed rest. Over the weekend, his knee was swelling up. Today, Sportscenter reported that Kobe is out the last two games, because his finger is bothering him… again.

That a lot of reasons why a person is sitting out. I’m particularly worried about the knee swelling, because a person’s knee doesn’t swell unless there is something inflaming it — meaning there’s some type of injury there.
Kobe has had a history of meniscus and cartilage damage (with multiple surgeries), so that could certainly be it.
The best case scenario for this is Kobe learns to play though it, and he gets a knee scope at the end of the season.
The worst case scenario is the damage gets worse, and at the end of the season — instead of scoping his knee — they (doctors) find that he has no cartilage left and he has to get micro-fracture surgery. If that’s the case then we may not be seeing Kobe for a long long time, like next year’s All-Star break (it’s scaring the hell out of myself right now). And at Kobe’s age, a micro-fracture surgery is the last thing you want to have (I need a damn drink).
Of course maybe it’s some type of sprain — meaning there’s some type of small ligament tear — and he’s just unable to really go full speed. If this is the case, and let’s hope it is — rest will
definitely cure it. Nothing really to get worried about here, because it’s pretty much completely out of the picture that it’s a tear of one of the major knee stabilizers, like the ACL, so no real need to worry about off-season surgery.
This is just speculation at this point, but its pretty clear to me that something is wrong with Kobe, besides “his legs are tired”.

Unfortunately, the cure for all of the above is a lot of rest.

A lot of rest requires a lot of time, and with the playoffs starting the time for rest is gone.

Perhaps Phil shouldn’t have played Kobe 38.8 minutes a game this season.

Or perhaps Kobe should’ve took the initiative, and sat his own damn self down earlier in the season, when all of these injuries were starting to mount.

Maybe I’m just being a paranoid Laker fan, who sees the juggernaut of Cleveland approaching, and is scared about our chances of repeating.

I’m praying that I’m wrong, and that all that Kobe needs is rest.

Because if I’m not.. it was nice knowing the ’09-’10 Lakers’ season.

  • joshuapusta

    Is Kobe still working out with Tim Grover?

  • David

    Um kobe always wears ice under his knee. If the knee has been operated on several times as it has, then it is susceptible to injury and swelling more than other parts of his body. Just because Kobe has ice on his knee means absolutely nothing. He always has ice on his knees…they're simply the most sensitive part of a basketball players body. Kobe has literally said that he ices his knees more than 3 times a day, even on non-playing days. I'm not going to deny that Kobe looks old, but I am not willing to say that just because he had “ice” on his knees after playing the Hawks, that he actually has a bad knee injury. That is wayyyy too far of a stretch my friend.

    My guess? Kobe's knee is getting old, and the tendinitis that he's getting these days is out of control. It's not a single play that caused this, but just the constant pressure of jumping and stopping for 2-3 years of basketball. It's like D-wade in 06-07 when he was severely limited against the Bulls because of his tendinitis. If things get really bad, then he'll likely have to have knee surgery in the offseason. Regardless, he's not looking like he'll suddenly be a 100% in the playoffs. Pray for a miracle..

  • Broderick Chesterfield

    the worst part. we are paying three more years and $84 mil for a broken, worn down player. he isn't getting healthier. that doesn't happen after 14 loooooong NBA seasons. The Lakers made the mistake that bad franchises make: paying for the past. The Lakers paid him max money. They don't owe anything for what he did. That's what we paid him for then.

    Now we're stuck for a while. This won't end well Laker fans. I'm pretty bummed about it.

    • chad b

      Wow… the Lakers are making a mistake that “bad franchises” make. I think the Lakers have proven themselves as one of the best franchises in the history of sports. Lakers always take care of there own and find a way to win championships. Players and fans understand this and this is the reason why they have such a loyal following. As far as Kobe's new contract goes. He is still one of the top players in the NBA and although he is on the backside of his carreer he is still an elite player. A 3 year contract was a good deal for both the team and Kobe. It gives Kobe the money he deserves and it gives the Lakers flexibility after 3 years.

    • Parker

      That is the main problem with our society, people like you who don't know what the hell they are talking about unless you have a crystal ball or something [ if that was the case i am sure you would use it for something that would be more beneficial to you instead of making stupid predictions.]. Kobe earned every bit of that money and i am sure you would feel the same way if you were in his shoes.

    • lostinla

      they better get at least one championship for 84 mill,or this could be a bigger waste of cash since obama`s health care money dump……………………………..

    • airkobe

      you and lostinla will surely shut-up when kobe shows you that that money is worth dying for..you never own a team so you don't know the importance of kobe not as a player but the worlds ICON that keeps the staples always packed!!!

  • dclaker

    Let me see…mmm…”I've been carrying this team since before and after Gasol(though he helps me tremendously) and let's not forget The Olympics in '08…Yeah! It's time to rest”,Kobe.

  • Robert

    Hard to say how the playoffs will play out considering Kobe's limitations. But I can say, can you imagine any other playing being able to play even close to the level Kobe plays, with a 'broken index finger'? The one on your 'shooting hand'? I can't imagine anyone playing at all – it would have been a season-ending injury for 99.99% of the players in the NBA.
    .
    The problem with injuring 'any' part of your body, is that you have to compensate in 'some way' with another part. So, for example, since Kobe loses a percentage of 'shooting force' from his hand by not having the full power (and guidance) from his hand, he has to use 'more' of his legs to hoist up a jump shot. That puts more stress on the legs, and can hence lead to injury or more stress on the legs (and certainly, more demand on the legs).
    .
    Before the index finger injury, Kobe was shooting a whopping 49% !!! Best of his career. The finger injury propagated to the rest of his body, and this has been the liability of the season. It will be over after the Finals (hoping the Lakers get there!), and after proper treatment of the finger, he will be back stronger next year than this year (yes, everyone things its a continuous downward decline, but we're talking “Kobe” dudes! The Terminator. Won't quit.
    .
    Unfortunately, it doesn't appear promising for the playoffs, but again, the good news is that playoff games are 'paced' – no back to backs. It gives Kobe a chance. Recall in 2001, that the playoff schedule gave Shaq a chance to rest. That's why the Lakers could dominate. The rest period in between games will be 'just enough' to allow Kobe to recharge properly.
    .
    Truth is, Kobe spent 3 “LONG” years playing harder and longer than anyone else in the NBA: 2 Finals appearances, Olympic games, etc. He crashed in 2009 (summer), The 'big' injuries started in this season. I consider this a 'down' year for Kobe, and the Lakers are still on top in the West. He's not done for the season, and we'll be seeing him play his heart out till the last possible second.
    .
    You watch. It is not over yet.
    .
    On to the playoffs — the next level!

  • Parker

    The Lakers will never have enough championships to please everyone especially LA fans. L.A. & the Boston fans are the biggest crybabies around. There is not one person on the team that the L.A. fans do not complain about, not one and that includes the F/O, GM & coaching staff. The game is no longer for enjoyment but an outlet for those who need to seek fault in others and spend a lotta time on blogs dissing athletes. This is probably the bet Franchise ever and that is still not enough for some. Just root for the guys' don't expect great heroics these guys are nothing more then mere mortals who provide entertainment. If you want to Super heroes get yourself a Marvels Comic Book.

    • GreenFlannel

      Thats why we 'true fans' have a lot of people to hate because they just don't seem to see that these guys were here last year and we still won. I think it is natural for us to worry about the ones we care for but I, for one, do not go around “dissing” Laker players or staff. The LakerNation is in a rough patch because of the lack of production the Lakers have had. So you'll be seeing a lot of crying until the Lakers pick it up, Parker.

      • lakermarc

        Right and then maybe that disappointment may turn into pride again. That doesn't make you a True vs. Non-true fan. What is does is it disappoints when The team in question is truly heads above the rest and should be winning but isn't because factors OTHER than uncontrollables (such as injuries, lack of talent, etc etc) are making an impact. THIS TEAM IS BETTER THAN THAT and shame on them for not rising above it.; They should rise above it prior to the season end not just at Play-Off time.

        Some people out there have a very cloudy view of what True Fans are and everyone else isn't Did you pay thousands for season tickets? Would you own season tickets if the lakers were a losing Franchise? Re-assess your qualifiers…. DOUCHEBAG!!!!!

        • GreenFlannel

          are you replying to me? I didn't understand what you were trying to say to me, if so. But what i did depict was that the team is better than injuries or uncontrollable obstacles. That can be true but when you have 4 of your main guys injured and have all been out for a period of time, it can affect the team and lower the morale. The fact that they are this 'banged up' and have such a good record is very enlightening. For that last part, I would most certainly own season tickets if the Lakers were losing. One of the greatest franchise in sports history? Why would you not watch this team play, ESPECIALLY if Kobe is on the team. C'mon that would be a logical response, if you know me from previous comments.

    • lakermarc

      Shut Up Fuck Off And Get Out!!!

  • lakerman34

    Kobe shouldn't participate in Worlds, but Kobe being Kobe, he will. When does Lakers management tell him “Kobe, we are ordering you NOT to pllay?”

    This summer, he should get surgey. His injuries are not career ending, so with surgery, rest, and rehabilitation, I think he can be at top form again next season.

    A 100% healthy Kobe Bryant is a completely different basketball player than the Kobe Bryant we have seen lately.

    Look out LeBron…

  • lakermarc

    The problem is Kobe never admits something is wrong to anything. Its very dillusional and I guess he thinks he's believed. He needs to not compete this summer actually have the surgeries he needs ASAP after his season ends and get ready for next year. Keep in mind, Kobe actually rested this past summer.