Lakers News: Kobe Bryant’s Injury Status Paints Bleak Picture of Future in LA

Looking back, it was kind of an inevitability. The highly publicized rehab, the public comments, the constant fiddling around with social media strategies. Kobe Bryant knew. The Lakers knew, or at least had a feeling, long before word began trickling down to the public.

For the second straight year, Bryant will end the season on the injury list. Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding first reported Tuesday that Bryant will be officially ruled out for the season this week, a conclusion that will expose the league's worst-kept secret.

The Lakers are 22-42, tied for the worst record in the Western Conference. They are no longer a basketball team but a semi-lovable group of miscreants playing an entertainingly terrible brand of basketball designed to win ping-pong balls.

And Bryant, probably in no big hurry to share a court with a sad-sack roster, has been dropping hints going back to the All-Star break.

In a promotional interview with Jacques Slade from, Bryant intimated he wasn't nearly ready for game action yet:

It’s progressing slowly. It really tests my patience. There’s only so much I can do. I find myself relegated to a bike. The first few weeks, it’s cool. I’m getting a good workout in. Third or fourth, I’m thinking I need to do something else. I want to play. I want to run. I want to do something different. But you got to do what you got to do.

These were the things we knew. Even if Bryant came back for a late-season run to test his legs, not even his fresh coat of paint could fix this ramshackled house. But once the Lakers and Bryant add finality to the equation, acknowledge that his rehab failed, a light gets cast upon the unknown.

What happens next for the Los Angeles Lakers?

In some ways, the picture is clearer than ever—only split into two distinct frames. On one side, a former purple-and-go...

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