Kobe Bryant, dubbed the “Black Mamba” wants to prove that he still got game even if he suffered two injuries in one year. After an Achilles injury sent him out of the court for seven months, Bryan returned to Lakers but only to be sidelined again because of a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee which forced him to watch his team’s games from his couch.
Just after signing a two-year contract extension, the 35-year-old superstar Kobe Bryant suffered the second injury that has been keeping him off the court since December 17, 2013 but the “Black Mamba” wants to prove that he still got game. Although the season of the Los Angeles Lakers’ player averaged 13.8 points, 6.3 assists, 42.5 percent shooting and 4.3 rebounds, he still missed his team’s last 26 games and the Achilles injury kept him away from the first 19 games. As a result, superstar Magic Johnson advised Bryant to rest the entire season, Los Angeles Times reports. Johnson emphasized the fact that “he’s not going to be able to stop the pick and roll” and added that the double injury gives the 18-year veteran no other option but to rest.
“He’s been hurt twice, give him the whole year to get healthy,” Johnson said.
Although the “Black Mamba” does not share Johnson’s concerns and believes that returning on the court is his responsibility, he knows that going back to game action does not depend on him and that the re-evaluation after the All Star Game next week could determine his comeback.
“It’s completely out of my control,” Bryant said.
The Lakers superstar knows that waiting is crucial and only after the knee has healed, can he go out on the court and prove that he still got game. The “Black Mamba” expressed his desire of coming back to his team for the rest of the 2013-14 season and should he return, the plan is simple: “Play like me.” Bryant admitted that it’s been hard to sit down and watch his colleagues go through countless games without him and that the current situation is “like when big brother is not around, you start doing crazy [stuff],” referring to Chris Kaman’s nap on the bench.
Kobe Bryant told the press that, in order to speed up his recovery and put his basketball shoes back on, he has been riding the bike and trying to stay active. Although he admitted that “the process is slow,” he remains positive with regard to the Achilles rupture he suffered, especially when taking into consideration that the same injury ended the career of Shaquille O’Neal and Isiah Thomas and slowed down Elton Brand and Chauncey Billups.
While waiting to prove that he still got game, Bryant joined forces with Nike to re-release the eight signature shoes. However, a pessimistic “Black Mamba” stated that the theme of his sneaker is absence and the shoe would be completely transparent because of the vulnerability which comes with being injured. The absence also symbolizes the fact that “I’ve missed so many damn games,” but Bryant’s return is inevitable and he has promised to prove that even with two major injuries, he still got game.
By Gabriela Motroc