Can the Black Mamba Bounce Back?

If you were to ask the next person you saw in the street what April 12th, 2013 meant to them, I’m sure 90 percent of the people asked wouldn’t be able to recall anything significant happening that day. However if you’re a basketball ball fan, more importantly a Lakers fan, April 12th, 2013 holds a very memorable, but tragic day. April 12, 2013 was the day that all count-on-kobeLakers fans across the globe’s hearts broke. On April 12th the Lakers were making their final push for the 2013 NBA playoffs. That Friday, the Lakers were playing the Golden State Warriors, a young up and coming team filled with talent, led by the young phenom Stephen Curry. The game against the warriors was a must win to ensure the Lakers a spot in the NBA 2013 playoffs. April 12th, 2013 was also the day Kobe Bean Bryant, also known as the Black Mamba, showed the world how inspirational a pair of free throws can be.

The Lakers were down two points in the forth quarter with only three minutes left when Kobe Bryant turned toward Harrison Barnes, in classic Kobe fashion, sweeping through to take the rookie forward to the hole. Moments later the Staples Center went silent when they saw the Black Mamba collapsed on the floor grimacing as he held his left leg. A few moments later Kobe got on his feet and proceeded to walk to the free through line. The world was stunned when Kobe made two free throws, tieing and game 109 to 109 and then walked off the court. The Lakers ended up winning that game ensuring the eighth spot in the playoffs right in front of the Utah Jazz. However what the world wasn’t sure of was the future of the Black Mamba or how the Lakers would fair without him in the playoffs.

The next day the whole world knew that Kobe had shattered his Achilles. Bryant was predicted to be out six to nine months for rehabilitation. At age 34, it didn’t look good for the black mamba. Derek Rose, age 24 suffered a similar injury last season and was sidelined for a whole year. However, recently in a report, Bryant was quoted that he has “shattered” the average recovery time from Achilles surgery, mainly due to the unconventional procedure he underwent during treatment. Recently while on tour in China Kobe spoke to interviewers about this recovery.

“The surgical procedure was different […] and because of that the recovery has been different,” Bryant told reporters in the southern city of Shenzhen. “The normal timetable for recovery from an Achilles, we’ve shattered that. Three-and-a-half months I can already walk just fine, I’m lifting weights with the Achilles just fine and that’s different. So we don’t know what that timetable is going to be. It’s kind of new territory for us all.”’

Now a return to the NBA after only five months of recovery from a devastating injury that has been known to end careers can seem ridiculous for any player, especially for Bryant, who will entering his 18th season in the league at age 35. And the fact that Kobe will be responsible for even a larger offensive load due to the departure of Dwight Howard, only adds insult to injury. However, we have always known Kobe to be a freak of nature; the fact that he still is consistently in the running for scoring champ at age 35 and 18 years in the league is a testament to his drive and dedication. The Black Mamba has shown us time and time again how hard work and dedication pays off. Now Lakers fans wait again as we ask the question, “show us again.”



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