It was already clichéd to say Kobe Bryant was crumbling under the weight of carrying the Lakers. His body was beaten as he gave his all in efforts to drag the Lake Show across the finish line and into the postseason. Now that his season is likely over those clichés have become a harsh reality.
One of Bryant’s greatest strengths has been his supreme confidence that often borders on delusion. Even with the Lakers’ ship barley being above water you could bet Mike D’Antoni’s job that Bryant still believed his team was a title contender.
Perhaps that was never a reality given the dire straits the Lakers faced in battling uphill for a playoff spot. However reality hit home last night when all the venom was removed from Mamba’s bite as he discussed an Achilles injury he’d already diagnosed.
Throughout his entire career Kobe has fought through one injury after another. He’s weathered shoulder conditions, broken fingers, bruised ribs, a bum knee and even overcame Dirty Dahnty Jones. But this…this is a beast of a much different nature.
This is the type of injury you don’t tough-out. This is the type of injury you don’t overcome in a matter of days. This is the type of injury that ends seasons and possibly careers. This is a Mamba we’ve never seen before and could be one we’ll never see again.