On Thursday, Kobe Bryant became the first-ever player to log at least 47 points, eight rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals in a game. He did so while playing all 48 minutes of the Lakers' 113-106 win over Portland.
On Friday, Bryant had played every second of the first 44:54 of the Lakers' next game -- an occurrence that was becoming the status quo -- when he fell to the ground, felt a pop in his left foot and writhed in pain. Pop or no pop, he hit the two free throws he was due and exited the game.
Kobe Bryant, three minutes away from the end of the 78th game he'd played this year, three minutes plus two games away from the end of his regular season, tore his Achilles tendon. Ninety-nine minutes of game before this all could have been finis, and Bryant was done -- for the season, and perhaps for even longer.
You've read the eulogies, the tributes, the pensive reflections on one of the game's greats and whether this might be the end of his greatness. You've heard...