The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant has had to deal with his share of injuries and scandals in his career but no injury as serious as this one. Last night vs. the Golden State Warriors, Kobe went down with what was reported as a possible Achilles tear. At 34 years of age and with 17 years of NBA miles on his legs, Kobe has been playing too many minutes lately which could be a contributing factor. Coach Mike D’Antoni said he feels that the only way the Lakers could have made it to the playoffs is if Kobe plays big minutes. I’m not saying his extended minutes caused this horrific injury but you be the judge.
An MRI exam has confirmed that Kobe Bryant suffered a torn Achilles. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar is set to undergo surgery today, April 13, 2013. According to the Lakers’ Twitter feed, athletic trainer Gary Vitti called it a third rupture. Bryant’s season is over and many wonder what impact it will have on the remaining years of his career. Next year is the final year of Bryant’s existing contract with the Lakers; the NBA’s third leading career scorer has hinted at a possible retirement after his contract runs out.
Bryant has one season left on his contract (worth around $30 million), and would likely return just as the Lakers are facing a free agency period in the summer of 2014. An interesting monkey wrench in the Lakers’ future would be how center and free-agent-to-be Dwight Howard will assess his situation with this drastically-changed Lakers landscape. Before Bryant’s injury, all signs had been pointing to Howard wanting to re-sign with the Lakers.
Reports are reporting the typical recovery from an Achilles tear and surgery is between 6-9 months. Bryant mentioned during his post game discussion with reporters that he’ll be doing homework on athletes who have suffered an Achilles tear and, one can assume, proceed to push his way back faster than every man and woman on that list.
Kobe could look the Kevin Pelton Atlanta Hawks’ star who tore his Achilles at the age of 32, and then returned to play with two more All-Star teams before retiring at the age of 39. Remember Detroit Piston’s Isiah Thomas, who was forced into early retirement at the age of 32 after tearing his Achilles. More recently, Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Chauncey Billups, who was 35 at the time, returned 10 months after tearing his Achilles on Feb. 8, 2012. Kobe, realistically your 34 years old so hopefully you got tigers’ blood and the Lakers fans will see you again soon however you have been hinting at retirement and maybe this is a sign to RETIRE.
Kobe Bryant was in no mood to answer the only question that mattered, and no one could blame him but through this tragedy I was wondering where’s CRYBABY Kobe and at 3 am he emerged on FACEBOOK and let it all hang out stating:
“This is such BS! All the training and sacrifice just flew out the window with one step that I’ve done millions of times! The frustration is unbearable. The anger is rage. Why the hell did this happen ?!? Makes no damn sense. Now I’m supposed to come back from this and be the same player Or better at 35?!? How in the world am I supposed to do that??
I have NO CLUE. Do I have the consistent will to overcome this thing? Maybe I should break out the rocking chair and reminisce on the career that was. Maybe this is how my book ends. Maybe Father Time has defeated me…Then again maybe not! It’s 3:30am, my foot feels like dead weight, my head is spinning from the pain meds and I’m wide awake. Forgive my Venting but what’s the purpose of social media if I won’t bring it to you Real No Image?? Feels good to vent, let it out. To feel as if THIS is the WORST thing EVER! BecauseAfter ALL the venting, a real perspective sets in. There are far greater issues/challenges in the world then a torn achilles. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, find the silver lining and get to work with the same belief, same drive and same conviction as ever.
One day, the beginning of a new career journey will commence. Today is NOT that day.”
It’s difficult to find any positives here, there is a glass-half-full approach. Despite the severity of the injury and the age of his legs, there’s just no way Bryant has to let this end his career. If anything, he now has motivation to work even harder to keep it and the man who seemed indestructible is now down for the count, with a nation in attendance waiting to see if he’ll get back up. All I can say is Kobe you did it before can you do it again!!! Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni will inevitably draw criticism for the way he has used Bryant down the stretch of this playoff push? Let us hear your thoughts?