By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The last few seasons have just not been kind to Kobe Bryant. The 36-year old star has already attained legend status in the history of the NBA, but the last few years of his career look like they will be defined by injuries and limitations.
Just one day after being named to the Western Conference All-Star Team for an NBA record 17th consecutive time, it appears that Bryant’s 2014-15 season will end due to injury.
According to multiple reports, Bryant is suffering from a torn rotator cuff that the team expects will cause him to be sidelined for the entire year.
Bryant is under contract with the Lakers through the end of the 2015-16 season and is due a hefty amount next season at $25 million. The Lakers made the decision to extend Bryant to keep him in a Lakers uniform for his entire career.
However, Bryant has spent more time in a suit the last few seasons than in Lakers gold. In 2013-14 Bryant managed to play just six games and in his comeback attempt this year he has only made it to 35.
Through it all, Bryant manages to find a way to joke about it.
Bryant already has a cemented NBA legacy. He passed Michael Jordan for third all-time on the NBA scoring list earlier this season and in an arena defined by rings, his five speak for themselves.
It is premature to ask whether or not Bryant has played his last game in the NBA, but it is natural to wonder. If he winds up missing the rest of this season, can he make a reasonable comeback another year older in a situation where he has to carry the Lakers due to their lack of talent and the fact that that’s just who he is?
The former Lower Merion standout more than likely won’t go down without a fight. Fans of his will just likely have to wait awhile before they see #24 on the court again.
Knowing Bryant’s mentality, he will likely make sure his NBA story doesn’t end this way.