Dark Times Are Just Beginning for Injury-Ravaged Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES — It got even tougher Tuesday night.

The Los Angeles Lakers released official confirmation that Kobe Bryant’s left knee isn’t close to being fully healed, as Bleacher Report reported Monday. Realistically, Bryant figures to miss more than another month considering he isn’t even scheduled to be re-evaluated for three weeks, according to the Lakers.

Bryant’s protracted timeline far superseded the predictable news of the Lakers losing to the Indiana Pacers, and in fact, an appropriate snapshot of the Lakers’ season came in the opening minutes of the game:

While the Lakers were playing host to the team with the NBA’s best record in a theoretically big game, Lakers vice president of public relations John Black was sitting next to team doctor Steve Lombardo, hammering out the grim details of the latest Bryant injury news. Neither Black nor Lombardo was even watching the game.

The injuries have blotted out the Lakers’ sun. Pacers coach Frank Vogel flat-out said so when citing Bryant’s and Steve Nash’s absences and then saying about the soon-to-be 16-30 Lakers: “I don't think it's possible to do any better than they've done.”

That’s far nicer for Mike D’Antoni to hear than Magic Johnson’s latest mockery of D’Antoni and the team, shared with an even wider mainstream audience via The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Monday.

But Johnson’s criticism isn’t what is bringing the Lakers down. Reality is hurting them. 

The news about Bryant only compounded the helplessness of having lost 17 out of 20 games. Nick Young, the Lakers’ source of both pride and energy all season long, twice went down without getting Pacers foul calls and twice was flat-out slow to get up.

In the final minute of the game, Young sat on the bench and did a l...

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