Doubts now arise over the Lakers play-off push.
The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a huge blow on Wednesday night, as Kobe Bryant was ruled out indefinitely after spraining his ankle in the loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Having missed a game-tying shot in the closing seconds of the game, Bryant turned his ankle over on his way back down having landed on Dahntay Jones’ right foot.
The ‘Black Mamba’ remained on the floor holding his ankle for a few seconds before hobbling over to the bench accompanied by the trainer.
Despite x-rays coming back negative, Bryant told reporters after the game that it was the worst sprain he had suffered in his 16-year career, and blamed Jones for sliding under him after he went up for the shot.
“First and foremost, the officials really need to protect shooters,” he said as reported by NBA.com.
“You just can’t go into shooters. That’s dangerous play. I’ll just do what I have to do,” he added.
The 34-year-old has been in great form in recent weeks, and his absence will come as a huge blow to coach Mike D’Antoni who has overseen an upturn in the Lakers fortunes.
Bryant also had a word for Jones, as this isn’t the first time these two have clashed – with evidence viewable in the video below.
“I can’t get my mind past the fact that I have to wait a year to get revenge. It’s just a very, very dangerous play, especially when I’m fading away,” said Bryant.