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The Black Mamba is down. On a drive to the basket late in the fourth quarter of a must-win game against the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant fell to floor, clutching his lower left leg. An MRI will be conducted today to confirm, but the word is Bryant has a torn Achilles tendon.

“I made a move I’ve made a million times, and (the Achilles) just popped,” Bryant told reporters after the game.

When asked if this is the biggest disappointment of his career, Bryant answered, “Yeah, by far. You work so hard to put ourselves in the position we’re in, we control our own fate and I’ve certainly done a lot of work.”

The Lakers won the game and remain the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

Bryant was averaging 45.7 minutes over his previous six games, so speculation will be that he should have never been logging in that much playing time late in the season. But really, are YOU going to tell Kobe Bryant to chill?

We sincerely hope Bryant makes it all the way back. The NBA needs the four-time champion so long as he can lace up his kicks.

Photo: NBA