The Lakers kept their playoff hopes alive with a come from behind win over the Warriors on Friday, but likely lost their best player in the process.
Kobe Bryant exited the game with 3:08 to play, after suffering the injury and then hitting two free throws to tie the game at 109 before he limped off the floor and into the locker room, unable to return.
Afterward, Lakers PR said that Bryant suffered a “probable torn Achilles,” and that an MRI would take place on Saturday to confirm the diagnosis.
Bryant conducted his postgame interviews with tears in his eyes and on crutches, which would lead us to believe that he is in fact done for the season due to the injury.
Bryant has been doing everything in his power to drag the Lakers into the postseason, playing at least 47 of a possible 48 minutes in four of his team’s last six games, before logging 45 minutes against the Warriors until the injury forced him to the locker room.
Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni has to shoulder a portion of the blame for Bryant’s injury, given the fact that he allowed Kobe to play all of those minutes in his 17th NBA season with zero regard to the toll it would take on him from a pure health perspective.
None of that matters now, however. It’s long been accepted that the Lakers wouldn’t be able to do much if they ended up securing the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. But without Bryant, they won’t do anything at all, and the team will remain in a state of flux and uncertainty until Bryant recovers fully from this injury.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.