Kobe down, Lakers still win and control Suns lottery pick destiny

Jeff Gross

Kobe Bryant is human. This fact has not been scientifically proven via MRI, but even Kobe himself believes he was brought down by an injury to a tendon named after the only weak spot on a great mythical hero, Achilles.

As a long time fan of the Phoenix Suns I hate the Los Angeles Lakers. By Transitive Property of Sporting Hate, that easily extends Kobe Bean Bryant with all his jaw jutting, lip pouting, (alleged) Colorado crime escaping, shot making, foul taking, and jersey sucking ways. And now, he's been felled by a (probable) torn Achilles.

But it's Kobe so even in horrific injury he's still breaking our hearts.

But let's face it, that mutha-fracker can flat out ball. He defines the phrase "Iron Will" and when there was a whisper of a chance the Suns might have hope to sign him in 2004 we were all crossing our fingers that he would come to Phoenix. We got a pretty decent consolation prize with Two Time MVP Steve Nash -- but still no rings. And Kobe means rings.

So now we only hate him a little bit more for the signing that never happened (and probably never had a snow ball's chance in Phoenix to happen in the first place).

For the first time in his 17-year career, Kobe is down with a serious injury. He says he'll be back so he will be back. But even Kobe in an EPIC 3am pain pilled induced Facebook rant isn't exactly sure what that means.

In the mean time, there's the very real issue of the Lakers making or missing the playoffs and the Suns getting or not getting their lottery pick. Here's where that stands.

- Kobe went down with only three minutes left in the game Friday night against the Warriors. (Because, of course, he couldn't go down earlier in the game and perhaps help the Suns just a bit more.)

- The Lakers squeaked out that win thanks in no small part to a HUGE 50-16 discrepancy in free throw attempts. Thanks, David Stern!

- (I don't really believe in NBA officiating conspiracy theories, but how many times in recent weeks have the Lakers gotten ALL THE CALLS?)

- The Jazz also won at home, beating the T-Wolves but they are now full game behind the Lakers.

- The Lakers have two games left, both at home: Sunday vs the Spurs and Wednesday vs the Rockets.

- The Jazz have two games left, both on the road: Monday at Minnesota and Wednesday in Memphis.

- The Jazz have the tie-breaker, but thanks to their own inability to not suck, need to find one extra win than the Lakers in the next two games. Even if the Lakers drop both games, the Jazz still need to win one and I have no confidence in their ability to do that.

So, that sets up Kobe's final revenge on the Suns. If his injury comes a week earlier, or perhaps even an hour earlier, the Suns chances of getting that extra pick are much greater.

But it's Kobe so even in horrific injury he's still breaking our hearts.

Get well soon?

Yeah, at the end of the day, the NBA is a better place with Kobe in it so despite my legal obligation to hate him...I'm not ready to see him go.

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