After the game, the team announced Kobe suffered a "probable" torn left Achilles. He'll have an MRI Saturday to confirm the results. After that, it's likely he'll have surgery and then a timetable of recovery somewhere between 6-12 months.
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A clearly emotional Kobe spoke with the media following the announcement saying that's he's absolutely not done, and that he's already thinking about coming back from the injury.
"It's fueling me. It's fueling me," he said. "I can feel it already. I can feel it already. Players at this stage they pop a Achilles and the pundits say they never come back the same. So I can hear it already. And it's pissing me off right now, just thinking about it."
Kobe was then asked if this was maybe the last we'd see of him.
"Really? Really?" Kobe scoffed. "It's appropriate you asked that question from down there."
Kobe is 34 and is in his 17th NBA season. He's played almost 55,000 minutes between the regular season and playoffs combined.
"I've never had to deal with something like this," he said. "It's a new experience for me."
Is this the biggest disappointment of his career?
"By far. You work so hard to put ourselves in a position to control your own fate. I certainly have done a lot of work to prepare myself, but it's just s--- luck."
Kobe was asked if there's any chance at all, given his incredible history of it, if he could play through this.
"I can't walk," he said. "I tried to just maybe put pressure on my heel, but there's just nothing there."
Kobe said he felt a pop and that it "felt like I got kicked." He remained in the game to attempt two free throws -- which he swished, and oh yeah, the Lakers won by two -- but then limped his way to the locker room. Once there, reality set it.
"Pissed and sad. Worked really hard to get to this point. Just pissed," Kobe said of his initial reaction. "I was just hoping it wasn't what I knew it was. Just trying to walk it off and hoping the sensation would come back. But no such luck."
What was the sensation?
"I had no Achilles," he said. "That was the sensation."
The play itself was harmless enough, just a hard dribble move to his left. No contact, nothing overly awkward.
"Not much to really take you through man," Kobe said. "I made a move I've made a million times and it popped."
Bryant's played a ridiculous number of minutes this season, becoming only the third player to top 3,000 minutes in a season over the age of 34 (joining Michael Jordan and Gary Payton). In his last six games, Kobe averaged 45.6 minutes, and played the full 48 twice, and 47 another two times. Could the heavy workload have caught up to him?
"Who knows," he said. "It's all necessary and it's just a freak situation I guess."
Obviously it's a major blow not just to Kobe's season and future, but to this current Lakers team. They're still in a dogfight for the West's final seed and still have hopes of making noise in the playoffs. Do they still have a chance at all?
"I think so. I hope so," Kobe said. "I'm going to be there still. I can't be there with them out on the floor, but I can use my intellect to try and break down film and help them see things they might not see."
Sitting in the locker room following the game with reality washing over him of what he was dealing with, Kobe said he had some immediate doubts. But those quickly disappeared.
"I was really tired man. Just tired in the locker room and upset and dejected and thinking about this mountain, man, to overcome. This is a long process," he said. "And I wasn't sure I could do it. Then your kids walk in and you're like 'I gotta set an example. Daddy's gonna be fine, I'm gonna do it.' Just work hard and go from there."