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Kobe Bryant’s Return Marks A Different Chapter In Career Story Reviewed by Momizat on . http://youtu.be/p7iX3mTWESE The two free throws Kobe Bryant took after he tore his Achilles were both entirely different and no different from any of the free t http://youtu.be/p7iX3mTWESE The two free throws Kobe Bryant took after he tore his Achilles were both entirely different and no different from any of the free t Rating: 0
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Kobe Bryant’s Return Marks A Different Chapter In Career Story

The two free throws Kobe Bryant took after he tore his Achilles were both entirely different and no different from any of the free throws that he had taken. They were different in the sense that it was a heavy, ominous moment. “He is literally on his last leg right now,” said Bill MacDonald as he approached the free throw line with an uneven gait for his last free throws of the 2012-13 season. “Alternately, it has seemed to be his knee, his ankle, his foot and now his Achilles.” Bryant hit both free throws, then lurched to the locker room while his teammates finished off a win.

They were the same in the sense that he approached the free throws in essentially the same way that he approached every other free throw in his career. Bryant was without an Achilles tendon in his left foot, but the muscle memory of a life time of basketball guided two heroic free throws through the net to give the Lakers a two-point lead.

The above video the NBA put together to welcome Bryant back was simple, short, but brilliant in the sense that it captured the emotion from those two free throws, but it also showed that those two free throws, in essence, weren’t any different from what he had done for the entirety of his career. From jersey changes to jersey additions, from short hair cuts to the afro years, from skinny kid to tattooed man — nothing was different in the way Bryant shot free throws, but everything was different about the last two that he shot.

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“One day, the beginning of a new career journey will commence,” Kobe Bryant wrote on his Facebook page at 3 a.m. on the Saturday following the tearing of his ruptured Achilles. That morning, none of us knew if those words would come to fruition, and even if they did, no one knew how long it would take Bryant to get to where he’ll be tonight — playing for the Lakers at age 35 after recovering from an Achilles tear that could have ended his career.

Instead, Bryant rehabbed. And he rehabbed. And he rehabbed. We followed Bryant’s recovery from his initial surgery through his first steps, his first shots and his first full practice.

Tonight, Kobe Bryant will make his first game apperance against the Toronto Raptors, a team that he’s had quite a bit of success against in the past. Not only has Bryant dropped 81 points on the Raptors, but he’s hit three game winners against the team (which you can watch here, here and here).

The think about that Facebook post that will forever standout is that he shared a side of himself that we weren’t accustomed to. Kobe was vulnerable.

Vulnerable. In the wild, vulnerability will get you killed. Lean the wrong way on a crossover, slide over too late on a rotation, dig too deep on a double team and someone is going to make you pay. While recording 30,000 career points (and counting), Bryant took advantage of the vulnerable more often than not, taking off-season pilgrimages to gyms and film rooms across the country learning new moves to add to his offensive repertoire. Bryant started out as a skinny kid out of high school relying on athleticism and a slick handle to get to the rim for the majority of his scoring opportunities to an aged, astute veteran who creates shots my mimicking his peers and employing what might be the best footwork from a perimeter player ever. Bryant has feasted on defenses for the better part of the last 17 seasons because he studied how to take advantage of the vulnerable, and did so without mercy.

Kobe’s vulnerability, however, also added a human element to a man who had essentially become a machine. This is a guy who has played through a series of ankle sprains, knee injuries, broken fingers and through illness. Bryant became a guy who would score in a new, unique way to score after it seemed like he couldn’t get any more creative. Bryant became a guy who has as many anecdotes told about him preparing for games in the gym than about him actually playing games. His jump shot looks the same now as it did when he was 20. It’s reliable. It’s mechanical — but Bryant became less of a machine and more of a man when he expressed his frustrations, anger and concerns with coming back from such a rough injury at an age most most ball players don’t live to see on the court.

This is such BS! All the training and sacrifice just flew out the window with one step that I’ve done millions of times! The frustration is unbearable. The anger is rage. Why the hell did this happen ?!? Makes no damn sense. Now I’m supposed to come back from this and be the same player Or better at 35?!? How in the world am I supposed to do that??

Tonight is when we find out the answers to Bryant’s rhetorical questions, or at least get a glimpse as to what those answers may be. We’ve been yearning for the moment that Bryant walks back on the floor donning the Lakers regal purple and gold. We’ve been yearning for his name to be called, and for the crowd to rise up out of their seats as if their collective backsides were made out of helium. We’ve been yearning for that first shot to be made and for that first choleric eruption from the Staples Center crowd. Tonight is when the fans get what they want and when Bryant leaves his vulnerability on social media and goes back to picking apart an NBA that has been his, and will continue to be his until he ties them up.

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Bryant might not have it in his first night back. He might not have it in his second night back or the third or the fourth. But there’s going to be a night this season where we’re going to collective say that he’s back. He’s going to look like the Kobe at some point. He has to many reps, too many tools, and puts in too much work for him not to. Like many other things, that NBA video helped me appreciate Bryant just a tad bit more, which isn’t easy to do after watching a ball player for more than half of your life. His return is tonight, and I couldn’t be happier that Bryant was able to work his way back.

———————————————————————-
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About The Author

Phillip Barnett loves cookies and difficult sozialisierbaren basketball. You can follow him on twitter at @imsohideouss.

Number of Entries : 323
  • Jim213

    IMO, it’ll take time (a few months) before Kobe may possibly return to his style of play. But one thing he should take today aside of needed to adapt his game somewhat for now is the experience (advantage) he has throughout the years that should help him to be more of a facilitator until he condition’s himself back to his level of play.

  • nicoboi

    Kobe can make free throws even without Achilles in his left foot, dwight can’t make free throws even 100% healthy!

    • madsk1lls

      Dwights making free throws now. Kobe almost had a triple double with 9pt, 8 reb, & 8 turnovers. Might have to face the facts that what’s left of the idiot buss family just gave $50 mil to guy that’s done. Along with nashs $9mil, la is in a bad spot. No prospects, no draft picks, and no hope for the future with this team likely picking 14th in the lotto. Meanwhile, D12 is on a contender, also one of the youngest teams with cap flexibility, all of their draft picks, and up and coming stars on rookie salaries. Good luck with that. Lol

      • KB24Vino

        well Kobe deserve that 50 mil after all he has done for the team.

        • madsk1lls

          Sounds like something the new buss regime would do. Sacrifice the future to reward the past. Like I said, have fun being the best team in the lotto.

      • Shane Michael

        LOL
        Don’t make me laugh. In his last 2 games Dwight is like 9 for 20 from the Free Throw Line.
        He hasn’t changed and he never will. You dumb Houston fans have no idea.

        • madsk1lls

          Howard doesn’t need to score on this team. #1 offense in the league just needs him to protect the rim and lead the league in rebounding. That’s why Houston will be in the playoffs and la will be in the lotto.

  • Gregory Choa

    I’m still sort of pinching myself over the prospect of having the privilege of being able to witness, as a Lakers fan, this third chapter in Kobe Bryant’s storied career. There were the “8″ years, and those three titles, and then the pre-injury “24″ years, and those two titles (…should’ve been three if Bynum’s not hurt in ’08), and now here we are on the precipice of the post-injury “24″ years – three seasons to see where Kobe finally ends up in cementing his astonishing championship legacy with the Los Angeles Lakers.

    And, when it’s over, there he’ll be – 20 seasons in the books with this storied franchise – the longest tenured career with the same team in NBA history, and arguably the among the top 3 Lakers players to ever wear the uniform.

    Amazing. Can’t wait…we’re truly blessed, as Lakers fans to be able to bear witness to all this.

  • Sergio A. Hinojosa

    Greatness doesn’t need an audience.

  • Get it together

    All of you writers at Lakernation need to cut it out with the typos. No one will take you seriously as a news outlet if this continues. Terrible.

  • Bobby Dre

    Doesn’t Lakers Nation have an editor in chief? Why do they publish articles with careless spelling mistakes?

  • Paytc

    Even all these haters know Kobe is gonna soon pick up where he left off and continue to build on one of the greatest basketball legacy’s ever. Of course it would be nice if this site were only reserved for real Laker fans. We know with greatness comes love and hate. I guess that’s what attracts a few Kobe and Laker haters to join us all. I know it has to be tough on these haters with all the success Kobe and the Lakers have enjoyed. But personally I enjoy laughing at all these talentless busters :-) LOL……. They make my day even better as I chuckle any and all problems away. Haters keep hating ! To the Laker fans collectively we remain in harmony, and are thankful our team leader Kobe Bryant is BACK !
    Keep writing your story Kobe !

    Go Kobe ! Go Lakers !

    • Paytc

      Yeah, Keep hatting and see where that gets you. LOL……. :-) LOL…….

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