After playing in just five full games this season, Kobe Bryant will miss another six weeks due to a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, according to a Tweet from the Los Angeles Lakers. And this comes after Bryant tore his Achilles’ tendon in April while playing against the Golden State Warriors.
It’s been a season plagued with injuries for the legendary Los Angeles team and Bryant’s knee fracture only contributes to the bleak outlook that many fans have about the Laker’s playoff chances. But these days there’s more than just doubt in the hearts of fans, there’s also been frustration pointed towards Bryant, because many fans simply didn’t like the fact that he received a two-year contact extension for a whopping $48.5 million.
Many fans said the high salary and the two-year contract extension was too much for a player that may not be healthy for two straight season. Plus, at the age of 35, it’s unlikely that Bryant will be able to play with the same force as he did before the injuries.
But last month Bryant stuck up for himself and said he had no problem accepting the lucrative deal.
“Most of us have aspirations for being businessmen when our playing careers are over,” said Bryant in an interview with Yahoo Sports. “But that starts now. You have to be able to wear both hats. You can’t sit up there and say, ‘Well, I’m going to take substantially less because there’s public pressure,’ because all of a sudden, if you don’t take less, you don’t give a crap about winning,” he said.
And if we know anything about Bryant, he always wants to win and he seemingly gives 100 percent each and every night. However, sheer desire isn’t enough in professional sports, because there are some things, physically, that a player has no control of–like aging and getting slower. Sure a person can train and try to physically prepare for getting older, but the longer one plays and the longer one trains, the chances of receiving yet another injury only get bigger.
So was it a smart move for the Lakers to spend so much money for a player that might not play? Or should the money have been used to build up the team’s future? Time will certainly tell, but for now, fans will have to wait at least six weeks to see if Bryant show’s even a glimpse of his former self.
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