The L.A. Lakers added some additional suspense to their drama-filled season last night (March 13), when the team's flagship Kobe Bryant suffered a sprained left ankle in the closing moments of their 96-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
With seven seconds left in a pivotal matchup against the Hawks, Bryant drove to the right baseline and hoisted up an attempt to tie the game, heavily guarded by former foe Dahntay Jones. Bryant's shot bounced off the front of the rim and into the arms of Hawks forward Kyle Korver. Bryant landed on Jones' foot, causing his left ankle to roll over. As he grimaced lying on the floor, his teammates stood above him, concerned about whether or not their captain would be participating in the rest of their playoff pursuit.
After an X-ray on the injury was pronounced negative, Lakers spokesman John Black announced that the Lake Show's leading scorer (second in the NBA) would be out indefinitely. Kobe told reporters after the game that the play was an obvious foul by Jones. "He Jalen Rose'd me," Bryant said, frustrated. "I can't get my mind past the fact that I have to wait a year to get revenge."
The 34-year-old veteran also confirmed that the injury feels like the worst sprain he's endured in his 16-year career. Meanwhile, his wife Vanessa Bryant posted a photo of the X-ray on Instagram (above).
The Lakers are 9-3 in their last 12 games and have been aggressively trying to solidify a playoff spot. Last month, Kobe told Sports Illustrated that his team "will make the playoffs," assuring critics that the embattled Lakers would turn around their dismal first half of the season. The team may have to search for answers beginning this Friday as Kobe is listed as questionable for their matchup against the Indiana Pacers.