Kobe Bryant Injury: How Torn Achilles Shakes Up LA Lakers Future

For just a few moments, at a crucial time during the Los Angeles Lakers-Golden State Warriors final showdown, the basketball world went silent.

News quickly spread that 34-year-old Kobe Bryant had torn his Achilles (per Lakers reporter Mike Trudell) in game No. 80, right in the midst of a playoff push. The man who seemed indestructible is now down for the count, with a nation in attendance waiting to see if he'll get back up.

There's obviously never a good time for a severe injury, but the effect of this one trickles down to more than just the victim.

Late last month, Bryant hinted that next season could be his last. But that was before learning he could end up missing most of it.

The typical history of this particular injury suggests that Bryant could be out anywhere from eight to 12 months. The best-case scenario is he misses a good chunk of next year. The worst-case scenario? He misses all of it.

Without Kobe, this team loses its identity.

General manager Mitch Kupchak constructed a roster that was built to win today, as in 2013 and 2014. But there wasn't much room for error in the blueprint. And unfortunately for everyone involved, error struck in the worst possible way.

Let's take a look and see how Bryant's devastating injury affects some key members of the franchise.


Kobe Bryant

With this particular injury, we've seen different recovery times for different players. Jonas Jerebko missed an entire season with an Achilles tear. Chauncey Billups returned after approximately nine months. It took Elton Brand about eight months, and most recently, it took Terrell Suggs only six months after a miraculous recovery.

It's a good thing for Lakers fans that Kobe's got tiger's blood.

Though it's difficult to find any positives here, there is a glass-half-full viewpoint to approach this with. Despite the seve...

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