Kobe Bryant, arguably the best player in the NBA, will not play again in the preseason. But that's not the worst part of the news about the Los Angeles Lakers guard's foot strain. The perennial All-Star could miss the Lakers' season opener against the Dallas Mavericks.
According to Ramona Shelburne and Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, Bryant spent most of yesterday's preseason game getting treatment for the foot. Bryant's injury may not heal enough for him to be ready to go for next week's season opener. Coach Mike Brown certainly has some questions about Bryant's status.
"I don't know if he'll be ready," Brown said after the Lakers 97-91 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. "So yeah, I guess there is question. I'm just going to wait for [Lakers trainer] Gary Vitti to tell me he can play because there's nothing I can do about it until they release him anyway."Bryant injured the foot in a collision with a player on the Sacramento Kings. He says the foot is painful, but the injury could have come at a worse time - like in the middle of the season. Losing Bryant at the beginning of the season has less of an impact than losing him toward the end or in the playoffs.
Bryant has averaged 25.4 points per game in his career. That number will fluctuate based on the players around him. For example, the Lakers did not have a great team around him last season, so it is possible that Bryant felt he had to shoot more. He averaged 27.9 points per game last season.