Best and Worst: History Dares to Challenge Kobe’s Achilles Reviewed by Momizat on . There has been a lot of news regarding Kobe Bryant's Achilles and his progress this past week. Since the injury on April 12 against the Golden State Warriors, w There has been a lot of news regarding Kobe Bryant's Achilles and his progress this past week. Since the injury on April 12 against the Golden State Warriors, w Rating:
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Best and Worst: History Dares to Challenge Kobe’s Achilles

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers Looking Behind

There has been a lot of news regarding Kobe Bryant’s Achilles and his progress this past week. Since the injury on April 12 against the Golden State Warriors, we’ve all heard about the best and worst outcomes from this major injury.

In China, Bryant recently told thousands of fans that he’s “shattered” the normal recovery time and is already able to walk and lift weights. However, a June study from the American Journal of Sports Medicine titled “Performance Outcomes After Repair of Complete Achilles Tendon Ruptures in National Basketball Association Players” isn’t so optimistic.

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The study concluded that only 44 percent of players were able to play longer than one season after their injury. Unfortunately, those who did play past a season saw a drastic decline in their performance:

“A complete rupture of the Achilles tendon and subsequent surgical repair, although rare, seriously affects the career of an NBA player. Of the 18 players identified over 23 seasons, only 44 percent were able to return to play for longer than one season after their surgical repair. Those who did return to play did not perform as well as their control-matched peers.”

It’s good information to keep in mind, but after watching Kobe Bryant these past seventeen seasons, it’s very difficult to imagine that he’s going to allow himself to be part of that statistic.  We’ve all heard why Bryant won’t be able to return at a high-level, but very few are discussing how he’ll be able to finish his career on a high note.

There’s a reason why Kobe is still standing tall while his rivals — Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Dwyane Wade — have fallen. All these players have had their moments with spectacular dunks and clutch performances, but Bryant has been willing to take the road less traveled. Much like Michael Jordan, Kobe’s greatness has come from making necessary adjustments to his game that has allowed him to have sustained success.

Throughout the years, Bryant has played through injuries that most players in the league would sit out for weeks. What separates Kobe from all these players is his unique ability to simplify his game depending on the type of injury. As a result, he’s actually had some of the best performances of his career even when dealing with injuries. In those games, it’s pretty clear that not only is Kobe still effective, but he’s still one of the best players in the league as well.

It seems like history is against Bryant, but what has he done throughout his career that would garner such skepticism? Kobe admitted that he might not be able to run as fast or jump as high when he returns, but his skill set will allow him to play at a high-level for the remainder of his career.

There’s no debate about the severity of this injury and how it’s impacted other athletes, but history also shows that Kobe Bryant will find a way to succeed, and his true greatness will shine more than ever.


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About The Author

Dan Duangdao is the Editor-in-Chief of Lakers Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @DanDuangdao

Number of Entries : 460
  • Eddie Lazaro

    Recovery from a career ending Achilles injury is always a challenge, and history can attest that majority of players (not just basketball) ended up retiring because they do not want to subject themselves to more pain, rigid workouts and conditioning in preparation to coming back fit, much more so to perform at the highest level.
    As we have seen him thru out his career, Kobe performing with injuries at the highest level is nothing new. With his patient and dedication, he find ways to work around the injury with ease because of his high pain tolerance. With his work ethics, he trained his body to embrace the pain. Play though some of his injuries that are retirement to others, making them look ordinary.

    His mental approach and adaptive ways to play productive without making worse of his injury is second to none, and that’s what separates him from the rest. That’s what makes him GREAT.

    • tara myricks

      @Eddie Lazaro.well written!!!

      • Eddie Lazaro

        Thank you. just stating the facts.

    • Zimmeredge

      after loosing the playoff series against the Mavs in 2011 I remerber that a lot of people were talking about the end of Kobe Bryant as we knew it. He had a nasty injury (both ankle and knee). They said he was done playing NBA BBall at a high level. Two seasons later. Kobe was still there and he averaged 27 (or so) ppg during those two next seasons.
      Who can really say Kobe Bryant is done playing bb at a high level. Remeber that he treated this big thing with something experimental (in Germany).
      It seems that Kobe chose to cure himself with something new and experimental (tenolig) one more time. The results are very good with this technic. But he needs to take his time. There’s a long road between training camp, game one, last game and post season. Then he will have to go for another 2 or 3 years.

      • Eddie Lazaro

        I totally agree, and he has to take his time, but only he can tell when he is ready or not. He knows what is at stake here and if he re injured his Achilles, it’s over. But he’s got these own regimen of body conditioning and work outs to keep him fit, even during his recovery period.If he can come back at training camp 90%, that progression will keep him in top form comes opening night.

  • Jim213

    IMO, given Kobe’s quick comeback turnaround he should return around Dec/Jan if at 90%. It was just April/2013 when he tore his Achilles. Although, many players don’t return to their usual level of play there are a few would’ve managed to comeback and play at a high level. One of these is Dominique Wilkins as after his Achilles tear comeback he continued to play competitively.

    However, NFL players are more prone to suffer this type of injury given the style of play as some recent players that have successfully comeback to compete at top level include Demaryius Thomas (Tebow catch Broncos/Steelers playoffs), Jarryd RoughHead (Rugby Player), and Terrel Suggs (Ravens) who came back 6 months after tearing his Achilles.

    However, I’m sure Kobe knows about Dominique’s comeback and given his mental aptitude I’m certain that he’ll return to his competitive level though we shouldn’t expect him to start playing his usual level of play off the bat. But like Jeanie mentioned he should return when 90% healthy. But just to make certain KB24 is up to par (if me) I’d go to a near by high skyscraper and start to do some serious stair exercises to increase strength, power, flexibility, and conditioning before returning and to ensure he’s up to his usual level of play.

    • Zimmeredge

      we can remember Larry Bird who injured both left and right achilles. He came back in great form. but Larry Legend already had trouble with his back.

      • Jim213

        Keeping an eye on RGIII (redskins) given he suffered an ACL tear injury not too long ago. Although, he’s a younger player but I’ll be observing his foot work as well as if he’s lost some speed.

  • R3aLdoe Foo

    Its worth a try for him to comeback, if anybody could do it, its him.

  • doggyjake

    Uhmmmm…. Dwayne Wade out of his “prime?” dude won two championships and was the best player on the team if you ask me

    • Stan Alfonzo

      Are you serious….Are we watching the same game.

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