Originally written April 13, 2013 on Fox Sports:
This is not how it was supposed to end. This is not how a legend like Kobe Bryant is supposed to cap perhaps the most daunting season of his career. A slew of sensational end-of-season games in which he had placed on his aging shoulders and carried alone his outrageously disappointing team and his own guarantee to make the playoffs? Yes, that would be right. Or maybe coming up just short -- the heroics of these last weeks, when he'd scored 24, 30, even 47 points in key wins only to be bested in the end by an ordinary, average team like the Utah Jazz? That, too, would have been appropriate. But to be felled by something as unjust and anticlimactic as an injury in the final minutes of a game Friday night -- an injury that also finishes prematurely the drama of a Lakers team struggling to answer the most basic question of whether they were frauds or still had enough fight left in them -- feels wrong. What happened in the Lakers' 118-116 win over the Golden State Warriors on...
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