What Kobe Bryant’s Early Return to Lakers Would Mean to the City of LA

The world will keep spinning whether or not Kobe Bryant returns ahead of schedule, but Southern California's fate is less certain. 

The last 12 months haven't gone as planned. 

Last summer it seemed Carmaggedon would be the absolute worst thing to befall Angelinos in 2012—life was good. Dwight Howard flip-flopped his way into a Lakers uniform, Steve Nash decided Canada wasn't that great after all, "Call Me Maybe" owned the airwaves and someone finally made a movie about Abraham Lincoln killing vampires. 

Waaait, last summer was horrible. Especially in retrospect. 

Even the most ardent purveyors of Lakers doom didn't see the 2012-13 season coming, ominous pop-culture signs notwithstanding. This team seemed special, ready-made for epic headlines about Kobe's last hurrah and Howard picking up where Shaq left off. That's what this franchise does, what this city's accustomed to.

The ill-fated season went on to tell the tale of a different city, where the best of times were still pretty bad and the only thing to show for Los Angeles' winter of despair was a spring of false hopes. A breezy joyride down the PCH of Laker Life turned into a two-hour commute through the Valley (which is to say, completely unacceptable).

The title-damning cherry on top came in April, when Bryant went down for the season with a rupture to his left Achilles. Bryant took to Twitter with grief and the rest of the NBA joined him.

Then he took to Facebook with a decidedly different tune (via The New York Times' Mark Heisler):  

There are far greater issues challenges in the world than a torn Achilles. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, find the silver lining and get to work with the same belief, same drive and same conviction as ever. 

In the subsequent months, Lakers fans have been thinking about other things—like baseball. ...

About the Author