Whenever the Los Angeles Lakers play the Golden State Warriors, all the talk will be about Kobe Bryant rupturing his Achilles on April 12. Before the 102-83 victory on Saturday, Warriors forward Harrison Barnes shared that he texted Bryant to clear his name after learning about the extent of the injury.
After a couple hard fouls by the Warriors, Bryant thought Barnes committed another hard foul by kicking him when he drove. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and Barnes wanted to make sure the five-time champion knew that according to L.A. Daily News’ Mark Medina:
“He had taken a few hard fouls earlier in that game. I just didn’t want him to think it was anything malicious or that I was trying to go after him or anything like that. I touched base and wished him well. He said it was all good and he didn’t anything of it.”
Despite the severity of the injury and the recent setback that will keep him out for at least six weeks, Barnes is confident that Bryant is going to get through this latest injury:
“If anyone can come back from all the things he’s been through, it would be him,” Barnes said. “He can come back from Achilles and play on such a short recovery. He’s been through a lot, but I’m sure he’ll able to get through his latest injury just the same. This is who he is. He’s not a self-doubting person. He’s not going to let anything defeat him.”
After eight months of rehabbing his Achilles, the five-time champion returned for six games before fracturing the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee. In six games, he averaged 13.8 points and 6.3 assists in 29.5 minutes.
Although this has been a frustrating process for Bryant, the next six weeks will give him the opportunity to further strengthen his Achilles and evaluate his game. While some don’t believe he can come back at a high-level after watching those six games, Bryant showed flashes and just needs more court time to return to his former self.
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