Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kobe Bryant: Career ending injury?

Since the retirement of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant has been the closest thing to number 23 in the NBA.

Granted, even Lakers fans confess, Kobe is far from being as endearing as MJ. But no one can argue his dominance. Here's a quick glance of what the Black Mamba has achieved:

So far in his NBA career that started (17) years ago, Kobe Bryant has won 5 championships, earned 14 selections for All-NBA teams and 12 for All-Defensive teams. He has also led the league in scoring twice, won the Slum Dunk challenge and got 4 All-Star Game MVPs in 14 appearances.
He won his Season MVP in 2007-08, won the Finals MVP in the next two years and the list of his achievements.
Greatness aside: Has the Achilles tendon tear ended the Bryant era?
No! Without a doubt. Kobe is as fierce competitor -- side by side with MJ -- as the NBA has ever seen. His off season workouts to refine his game are legendary. Kobe will hire the best medical team and he will dedicate every ounce of his being to return as the elite NBA baller we know him as.
Bryant has proven people wrong his entire career. He's used to it. That's what he's done. He is often referred to as the ultimate competitor. So it is safe to assume that Kobe will do everything in his power to come back from this injury stronger than before. And when Bryant puts his mind to something, it gets done. source
However, that's not the question to ask. The question: Why did the Laker management -- coach, GM, owner -- drive their Mercedes (Kobe) so recklessly?
Averaging boo koo minutes in the last month -- 45 mins per game -- Kobe was on a tear;  turning back father time and playing sensational ball. Kobe was determined to help his team make the playoffs at all cost. Many will argue no coach could put Kobe's rising minutes on a diet.
One of the first things that people started to call into question about Kobe Bryant’s torn Achilles tendon was the workload that he’s endured this season at 34 years old and in his 17th NBA season. He’s played a ton of minutes this season as a whole, but as they’ve been fighting to make the playoffs over the last couple of weeks, he had been playing an absurd amount of minutes.

For the season, Bryant has been averaging 38.6 minutes per game. That’s a pretty large chunk of minutes for most players in the NBA, but especially for a player with as many miles on their legs as Kobe has. Over the six games he played in April, though, that number increased dramatically to 45.2 minutes per game, including one game where he played all 48 minutes and two games where he sat for less than a minute at the very end of the game.

Part of the reason that Kobe has been playing that many minutes lately is because he demands to do so. Bryant is one of the fiercest competitors to ever play the game of basketball, so there’s no way he wants to be on the bench when he’s trying to get his team into the playoffs. However, some of the blame has to go to head coach Mike D’Antoni, as well. At some point, D’Antoni should have rested him. source

Hard as it may be -- just ask the Washington Redskins regarding RGIII -- it is the job of the organization to protect players, even against themselves.

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