Surely, Kobe Bryant will approach his rehab with the same intensity and dedication in which he has approached the game of basketball throughout his 17-season career.
He may not be in the same kind of condition he was in at the start of the current season because he won‘t have an injury-free summer to get stronger in and stay in rhythm (as he did with the 2012 Gold Medal USA Olympic Mens Basketball team over the summer), but he will come back as strong–or stronger–than anyone who has ever suffered a ruptured Achilles has.
There is no question that he’ll do his homework, exhaust every option regarding his rehab, and spend countless hours in the gym in order to come back in the best possible condition he can be.
Kobe has always stated that he wants to be remembered as the athlete who was the best possible player he could be, given the circumstances. Regardless of whether he is remembered as the greatest of all time, he wants to be remembered as the player who fully maximized his potential.
There’s no question that he will be back and be the best player he can possibly be following an injury like that.
Knowing him–the man who makes the seemingly impossible, possible–he may even come back just as good as he was before he limped off the court on Friday night.
With fellow athletes, celebrities, fans, and even his family sharing their well wishes and confidence in the Black Mamba to once again return to top form, he’s surely ready to take on the challenge and set an example for everyone that hard work and determination can overcome anything.
More than anything, he wants to–and needs to–prove it to himself.
That, my fellow Lakers fans, is the inner-beast of Kobe Bryant and what separates him from all other athletes out there.
In the meantime, while the Lakers’ season is not over and may very well be relatively successful in the playoffs without their leader (I’m an eternal optimist when it comes to the Lakers), we should all reflect upon the tremendous season Kobe Bryant gave us all to witness while carrying the Lakers up until this point.
The Lasting Image Of Kobe’s Legeendary 17th Season
The last memory he gave us for at least six months will certainly be a lasting one.
It will be a memory that symbolizes his career and defines what he’s truly about: Winning at all costs, mind over matter, and physically giving the game in which he loves so dearly literally everything he has.
With just over three minutes left in the game against the Golden State Warriors, Kobe Bryant–fully aware of the rupture in his Achilles tendon and understanding that his season is over and his career may never be the same–walks to the free throw line and knocks down two free throws:
The Lakers would go on to win the game by two points and hold off the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff slot, for one more game.