Last night, the NBA was shook by some devastating news. The player who had been the face of the league for over a decade had torn his left Achilles and will be out for the rest of the season, and maybe even next season, as well.
For many players at 34 years-old, this would be the end to their career. For Kobe Bryant, however, it is just fuel to come back even stronger.
The Los Angeles Lakers are still fighting for the #8 spot going into the playoffs, and Bryant was the main reason that they even reached that point. He was playing almost the entire game for the last week or so, and that could be a factor as to why he was dealt this injury. Now, the Lakers don’t really seem to have any shot of making a run in the postseason, even if they do get in.
So what’s the next step from here? Bryant could possibly be back as early as the All-Star break next season, but Achilles injuries are tough to overcome in such a short period of time. The Lakers could amnesty him and save $80 million on the luxury tax, and then sign Bryant next summer after a full year of recovery, but that’s a long ways off.
“MRI, surgery and then recovery,” Bryant replied on the question of what will happen next. “I was really tired, man. Just tired in the locker room and dejected and thinking about this mountain to overcome. I mean, this is a long process and wasn’t sure I could do it. Then your kids walk in and you’re like, ‘I need to set an example. Daddy is going to be fine.’ I can do it. Work hard and just go from there.”
Bryant has reiterated throughout his career that he will never suit up for a team other than the LA Lakers, so the possibility of him signing with another team is out of the question.
But the Black Mamba will make a comeback to Los Angles. How do I know? Because, quite simply, he’s Kobe Bean Bryant, and the world has never seen an athlete with more determination, will, and heart than him.