When Kobe Bryant went down with what in all likelihood is a torn Achilles injury with three minutes to play in the Lakers’ win over the Warriors on Friday, it wasn’t his first injury of the night.
As seen in the video clip above, Bryant suffered minor injuries to his knee and his foot over the course of the game, and the overcompensation for them more than anything else may have contributed to the very serious injury that ended his season.
Phil Jackson weighed in on Bryant’s injury via Twitter, and mentioned this while briefly wondering what might have been if Bryant had shut it down for the night after the first two “mishaps.”
Kobe wasn’t going to let the Lakers miss the playoffs. We watched him go thru 3 anguishing plays-the last one devastating…
Second guessing is pointless here, because we all know Bryant was going to play as long as he could walk. He said afterward in his postgame press conference that he couldn’t, and that’s the only reason he came out of that game.
Much has been made of Mike D’Antoni’s lack of control over Bryant’s minutes being one of the reasons for the injury, but the awkward way he was injured twice before on this night likely had far more to do with it — especially with an injury like a torn Achilles that can happen with essentially no warning at all.
Andre Drummond hits buzzer-beating heave from beyond halfcourt (VIDEO)
Andre Drummond is a terrible free-throw shooter…except, apparently, when he’s shooting from the other free-throw line. Monday night against the Raptors, Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to five at the end of the third quarter with this three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer:
Not a lot has gone right for the Nets this season, but an impressive clutch shot by seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson gave them their 14th win of the season on Monday. With time expiring, Johnson banked in a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 105-104 over Denver and secure the victory:
For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.
Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:
ESPN sources say that the Sacramento Kings are going ahead with a coaching change and plan to fire George Karl in coming days
The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.
The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:
Rondo: "With optional shootarounds it’s tough. … When 3 or 4 guys show up for shootaround this morning, how can you expect to win.?"
That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.
Karl-Anthony Towns fakes out Luke Babbitt with spin move (VIDEO)
Since he came into the league, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ offensive footwork has been unusually advanced for a rookie. He showed off his impressive moves again on Monday night, getting to the basket around Luke Babbitt with this spin: