In a move that may be best for the future of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant, the Lakers superstar will not play this year while recovering from multiple injuries.
Bryant, after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL, missed the first 19 games of the year before fracturing his knee on December 17. Critics said he returned to the team too early from major surgery, as his explosiveness was noticeably missing.
Though Bryant insisted that he was going to come back before the season ended, it may be best for both parties that he does not play.
The Lakers are 22-42 and headed for the Draft Lottery, which will have a bevy of top prospects. If the Lakers can snag one of the better prospects (Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum, Julius Randle, et al.), it will make the franchise that much better next year and give Bryant a better chance to win his sixth NBA title.
Bryant, who signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension before he got hurt, only risked hurting himself–and the Lakers chances of getting a better player in the Draft Lottery–by returning in what would have been a potential lose-lose situation.