The NBA playoffs began on Sunday, April 21 for the top eight teams in both the Eastern and Western conferences.
The star-studded playoffs feature superstars Lebron James of the Miami Heat and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, which both led their teams to a number one seed in their respectable conferences.
However, one team participating without its superstar is the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kobe Bryant went down with a torn Achilles tendon on April 13 during a regular season game against the Golden State Warriors.
Bryant was driving to the basket as usual when all of a sudden he took a hard step with his left foot and he fell to the ground instantly.
After getting up, Bryant knocked down two free throws and walked to the bench with a limp.
The Lakers won the game, but lost more than was realized at the time.
It was announced after the game that Bryant would undergo an MRI the next day, which showed that he suffered an Achilles tendon tear.
It’s forced Bryant to sit out the rest of the season, including the playoffs.
It was pointed out that the injury might have occurred due to the heavy workload he’s been giving the Lakers the whole season just to get them in the playoffs.
Bryant averaged 39 minutes a game and at 34-years old, that’s a lot of work on the court.
Bryant had an emotional rant on his Facebook page the night his injury happened.
He guaranteed the Lakers will make the playoffs and that they will be fine without him because of the other all-stars that will lead this team.
Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Steve Nash are all looked upon by legions of Laker fans to carry the load the rest of the way.
No one is expected a lot more from than Howard, the man fans believe will carry the torch when Bryant retires.
Kobe underwent a successful MRI and was given a time schedule of six to nine months of being sidelined. The superstar vowed to return to the court and promised a quick recovery.
The Lakers clinched the seventh seed and are scheduled to battle the second seed San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the NBA playoffs.