If you are a Lakers and Kobe Bryant fan, then you understand and are well aware of the warrior-like mentality that Bryant possesses. He has continually played through injuries throughout his career, while playing with full effectiveness.
Therefore, when Bryant went down to the floor with a completely ruptured Achilles tendon on April 12 while trying to drive on Golden State’s Harrison Barnes, it was a disheartening feeling for fans to see him leave the court with a season-ending injury.
Before he left the court in the fourth quarter, Bryant attempted and made two crucial free throws, all while walking and standing on his own two feet. This feat alone is mind-boggling considering that his Achilles was completely torn at the time, and it only adds another chapter to his legendary career.
Bryant recently revealed that when his injury occurred, he was determined to continue play, which explains why he stayed to shoot free throws. At a recent trip to Nike’s headquarters in Oregon, he told employees (h/t SI):
“When I first did it, right there, I was trying to feel if the tendon is there or if it’s gone,” Bryant recalled, in comments recorded by Nike. “I realized it wasn’t there. I was literally trying to pull the tendon up so hopefully I could walk and kind of hobble through the last two and a half minutes and try to play.”
“It’s just [expletive] luck,” he continued at the time. “I was pissed and sad [walking off the court], we worked really hard to get to this point. I was pissed.”
The video of Bryant’s above comments were tweeted out by Nike PR Director, Heidi Burgett.
Bryant’s torn Achilles took over, causing him to head to the locker room after sinking those free throws, which would wind up to be a determining factor in the Lakers’ win against the Warriors. He had innovative surgery the next day to repair his Achilles and has been hard a work at recovering from the injury since.
While Bryant is still unsure if he will be ready to suit up for the season opener against the Clippers on October 29, he has reiterated that he remains ahead of his original recovery timetable of at least six to nine months.
It is amazing to hear that Kobe tried to manipulate his tendon himself to continue to play in the game. His determination is truly unique.
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