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Kobe Bryant ruled out for the season

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The five-time champion has been ruled out of games for the rest of the season

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE 3/12: According to the official Lakers website, Bryant has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season after a check-up with team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo. According to team trainer Gary Vitti, "With Kobe’s injury still not healed, the amount of time he’d need to rehab and be ready to play, and the amount of time remaining in the season, we’ve simply run out of time for him to return."

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It's not a stretch to say that as Kobe Bryant goes, so go the Los Angeles Lakers. In this lost season, truer words have never been spoken. And those "truer words" are about to get etched in granite.

Per Kevin Ding, the Los Angeles Lakers will announce that Kobe Bryant will sit out the rest of the regular season. The Black Mamba has been out for all but six games this year, first sidelined with recovery from his ruptured Achilles tendon and then with a broken leg suffered during a December 17th game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Kobe's exit isn't a particularly devastating blow to the team at this point, as the Lakers are 20 games below .500 and all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. The team needs to take long looks at wing players like Xavier Henry, Kent Bazemore, MarShon Brooks and Jordan Farmar in order to evaluate just how much they'd be worth to the Lakers in free agency. However, it's not a great sign that Kobe couldn't heal enough in the prescribed time, as his leg was still swollen and difficult to examine just within the last two weeks.

Keep in mind that this isn't an official report quite yet, as Ding is reporting based on "team sources". However, no one should be surprised if this eventually comes to pass.

More on this as it unfolds.

--MAMBINO

--Follow this author @TheGreatMambino