How Kobe Bryant’s Injury Impacts LA Lakers’ 2014 Offseason Plans

The Los Angeles Lakers had done a fine job of treading water without Kobe Bryant.

But now that Bryant is sidelined once again, this time with a knee injury, you have to wonder about the viability of the set plans for the Lakers moving forward.

While Bryant's injury doesn't preclude him from future health and success, it isn't a great sign for someone that has as much mileage as he does. After all, time will eventually win this battle, and it's reasonable to assume that Bryant will be a fraction of himself once he fully returns. 

There's no doubt that the Los Angeles front office was fully prepared for something like this to happen. Bryant's actual injury (fracture of the lateral tibial plateau) was a rare one, but the occurrence of a leg injury following an achilles tear is decidedly not.  

KOBE. Even BEFORE his Achilles Tendon affected his L Knee It has been his Arthritis behind his Right Kneecap that has Stressed his Left Knee

— Dr. Robert Klapper (@DrRobertKlapper) December 22, 2013 This is a setback to be sure, but the short-term effects of Bryant's injury pale in comparison to the long-term impact it could have on the future in Los Angeles. 


Different Approach 

Maybe the biggest impact of Bryant's return and subsequent injury was that it robbed free agents for this offseason of their naivety. If Bryant had taken the year off, one could more readily accept that he could return at full strength.

Instead, free agents have a small sampling of Bryant looking slow and ineffective—and now with a new injury to toss on the heap of concerns.

Attracting a marquee free agent isn't all about Bryant, of course, but more than ever players have become concerned with who they're teaming up with. It's hard to say that Bryant has raised his stock, and you worry that another failed return could make it pl...

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