Due to an unfortunate Achilles injury, Kobe Bryant had to watch from the sidelines as his team was swept out of the playoffs.
Sidelined with a torn Achilles and unable to travel with the team, Kobe Bryant took to Twitter to share his thoughts on Game 1 of the first-round matchup between his Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs.
Bryant's insights delighted the Twitterverse, and ABC's broadcast often displayed and discussed his tweets at length.
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni was even asked about Bryant's online commentary after the game. That's when Bryant decided to hold his tongue (and his thumbs) until the series came to its final, grisly conclusion.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) April 22, 2013
What if he never muzzled himself though, and kept delivering candid nuggets throughout the series?
Here are five tweets Bryant wished he could have sent out.
"Come on Dwight...at least Drew went down swingin! #quittersneverwin #dowereallywanttoresignthisguy?"
This, of course, is in reference to Andrew Bynum getting tossed in Game 4 of the 2011 conference semis (in which the Lakers were swept by the Dallas Mavericks) for cutting J.J. Barea down in mid-air with a cruel elbow to the ribs.
Dwight Howard's ejection was much less violent, but the reaction afterwards from his own supporters was worse.
Many fans and even media members condemned Howard for abandoning his teammates in an elimination game when they were already extremely short-handed.
"What was wrong with the Princeton offense again?? #whoops #wewantphil"
Watching the Lakers labor on offense possession after possession was excruciating enough for fans. It had to be unbearable for the greatest offensive force of his generation.
In four games against the Spurs, L.A. managed to crack 90 points just once and lost by an average of nearly 19 points per contest.
Mike D'Antoni was supposed to be an offensive guru who would get the most out of his four soon-to-be Hall-of-Fame-bound stars. Instead, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard never figured out how to co-exist in the frontcourt, and Bryant and Nash kept swapping the role of facilitator between them.
The end result was fans calling for D'Antoni's head and "We Want Phil!" chants reverberating throughout Staples Center.
"Love my man Gary Vitti, but we shoulda traded for the Suns training staff too when we got Steve #ithurtsjusttowatch"
Ah, the magic Phoenix Suns training staff: How much money are those guys really worth? And what's their secret?
During the 13 seasons that Steve Nash and Grant Hill combined to play in the desert—both in the latter stages of their careers—they only missed 69 out of their team's 1,034 games.
Those two missed 85 total games in just one season for their new organization (#wow).
Injuries derailed any hope the Lakers had of making a run at a 17th championship. They can only hope that fate is kinder to them next year.
"No lie, I think I could go for 81 tonight against our boys, even on crutches. Yeesh! #realtalk"
No Kobe Bryant. No Steve Nash. No Metta World Peace. No Steve Blake. No Jodie Meeks.
The Lakers went into an elimination game without their top five wing players.
Even Kobe's mother might have been able to put 20 on the board if Chris Duhon was guarding her for the 43 minutes(!) he was on the court—you know, assuming she didn't try to sell her jersey at halftime. Too soon?
"Hats off to the Spurs. They're a great team. #heartofachampion At least it's still Sunday though. Mad Men and Game of Thrones baby! #TeamStark #dondraperismyhero"
Lakers fans were probably thinking the same thing that afternoon, ready to drown their sorrow in must-see TV.
Coming back to L.A. down 2-0, you'd think that the Lakers would come out swinging in Game 3. Nope, they got embarrassed by 31.
Down 3-0 heading into a potential close-out Game 4, you'd figure they'd give it everything they had to make the Spurs earn it. Not so much, as the Spurs cruised to a 21-point victory.
It was a disappointing end to a disappointing season. The Stark words are "Winter is Coming." For the Lakers, it's already here. Bundle up, boys, we'll see you in the spring of a new NBA season.