Los Angeles Lakers: Gary Vitti Reveals Agreement With Kobe Bryant Following Injury

By Andrew Fisher
Gary Vitti
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

You can call Kobe Bryant a lot of things, but weak isn’t one of them. There are few players in professional sports that possess the grit and toughness of the Black Mamba. But there are certain injuries that can’t be overcome by toughing it out. Bryant finally experienced one of those injuries this past April when he tore his achilles tendon. But in true Kobe-fashion, he’s fighting with everything he has to get back on the court in record time this season, which no doubt has some Los Angeles Lakers‘ fans on edge.

But going back to that horrible night in April for a moment, Lakers’ trainer Gary Vitti recently revealed that he had a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ with Bryant following the injury. Kobe was fouled on the play and insisted that he be allowed to shoot the two free throws, even though he knew he was hurt badly. Vitti says he went along with it on the condition that he could tell the referees and opposing coaches that the Lakers were going to foul immediately afterwards to get Kobe out of the game.

“I think it’s his gutsiest moment,” said Vitti of Bryant shooting free throws on a torn achilles.

That comment is certainly debatable, but there’s no question it’s classic Mamba.

Related: How Much Longer Will Kobe Bryant Play for Los Angeles Lakers?

In regards to his return, Vitti had this to say: “I thought he was going to be worse with pushing, pushing, pushing. But he’s been very, very smart about the entire process.” Again, that comment is certainly debatable. However, I think we should expect to see Kobe back on the court before the end of 2013 at near 100 percent.


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