Sources say Kobe Bryant will ‘absolutely not’ play for rest of season

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130413023120-kobe-bryant-story-topLOS ANGELES – Kobe Bryant will “absolutely not” play the rest of this season, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

Bryant has played only six games this season because of two injuries — a torn left Achilles’ tendon that kept him sidelined the first 19 games and a fractured knee in the same leg that has kept him out since December.

It makes sense that Bryant would sit out the Lakers‘ final 18 games because the team is nowhere near playoff contention. They have been at or near the bottom of the Western Conference standings and are currently 22-42 heading into a dicey two-game road trip at Oklahoma City and San Antonio.

Bryant, 35, initially wanted to return for at least a handful of games because he hoped to get a feel for what he needed to work on during the off-season.

The six games he played were up and down. He made only two of nine shots in his debut against Toronto but looked better nine days later against Memphis, scoring 21 points on nine-for-18 shooting with five rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes. It turned out to be his final game of 2013-14.