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Kobe’s trainer says heavy minutes had nothing to do with his injury

Apr 14, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Mike D'Antoni; Kobe Bryant AP

In the hours following the devastating injury to Kobe Bryant, it was immediately fashionable (and on the surface, even logical) to pin the blame for it firmly on the shoulders of Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni.

Bryant had been playing an insane amount of minutes recently in an attempt to drag his team into the playoffs, and conventional wisdom said that D’Antoni should have exerted more control over his star player to prevent him from playing himself into an injury like this one.

But a torn Achilles is more of a random occurrence than it is an injury that happens due to being worn down, and Bryant’s personal trainer, Tim Grover, said as much on Saturday.

From Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

“It had nothing to do with the minutes he had been playing or anything of that sort,” Grover said in a phone interview with this newspaper. “A torn Achilles tendon is a very freaky injury. It’s just one of those things that just happened.”

Grover conceded the possibility that Bryant’s torn Achilles tendon could stem from the bone spurs in his left foot that he has had “for a while.” But Grover said it’s common for anyone to suffer the injury through every-day movements, such as climbing out of bed or stepping off a sidewalk.

“Everybody is trying to look at somebody to blame for it whether it be the coaching staff, Kobe, me or whatever it is. But everyone who is involved with him has to take responsibility in this. But it’s more of a freakish injury than anything else.”

If you want to continue to blame Bryant or D’Antoni for the injury, go right ahead. But this comes from as solid a source as there is on the matter, and we prefer to deal in reality here rather than in pure speculation.

  1. footballgod87 - Apr 14, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I be surprised if he did say those minutes had an effect on his injury. That would be throwing the head coach under the bus.

    • lakerfan4life - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      Exactly! What do you expect them to say? But you’d have to be an idiot to not acknowledge that Kobe at his age playing that many minutes a night, doesn’t add up to a higher possibility that an injury will occur. Did this specific torn Achilles tendon occur because of all the excessive minutes? Maybe, maybe not. But eventually, something was bound to occur. And to try to pretend otherwise, is insincere.

      This falls solely on the shoulders of Mike NoD’Antoni, and Laker management for not managing their franchise player better.

    • spthegr8 - Apr 14, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      & he is ABSOLUTELY,POSITIVELY, 1000% RIGHT.!! It if you wanna place the blame on somebody, then blame EACH & EVERY PLAYER on that team & EACH & EVERY coach for digging themselves a MASSIVE HOLE!!! Everybody should share some of the blame. But @ the end of the day, finding somebody guilty or @ fault isn’t going too help us in the playoffs ( if we make it in ) so let’s stop looking too point the finger & get ready for the Spurs. Cuz what’s done………IS DONE!!!! I’m Just Saying!!!!!

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 14, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking it (although I know Kobe is not focused on such minutiae). Just means they aren’t petty enough to feed the media hounds who would take it and run with it until they make Mike D. step down.

  3. adoombray - Apr 14, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Even if it was a ton of minutes that led to the injury, the Lakers are fighting for the last playoff spot. They ARE already playing do or die games. You never want to see anyone get hurt but playing tons of quality minutes when it matters most is why guys like Kobe make the big bucks. What were they supposed to do, “rest him for the playoffs” and then miss the dance by a half game?

  4. gmsingh - Apr 14, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    I agree–it had nothing to do with the minutes he was playing. It had to do with all the hours he was playing.

  5. pellypell - Apr 14, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Thanks Obama!

  6. 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    And the bullet had nothing to do with JFK’s death

    • money2long - Apr 14, 2013 at 2:18 PM

      the logic here doesn’t work, as then you will be saying everyone who plays high minutes WILL get an achilles injury. that just doesn’t work.

  7. BigBeachBall - Apr 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Consider kobes injury history… It reflects a finesse player who instictively averts injury….it seemed like he was intentionally playing wrecklessly in the game to force an injury so he could eject from this nightmare season. Or maybe not, he just overplayed one too many. Either way, his first game back will be nuts.

    • money2long - Apr 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      we forgive you for this insane comment

  8. kash71 - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    It has to do with old age more than anything. Kobe started the NBA fresh out of high school, compared to a lot of other players he has played the equal to two nba careers.

  9. melkipershero - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    One of the main causes of this injury is…overuse.

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 14, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      Over a long period of time. Say, 17 years of running up and down the NBA hardwood.

  10. money2long - Apr 14, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    does anyone know how tall diantoni is ? i’m not sure if it has anything to do with depth perception, but he definitely looks like he’s around kobe’s height in that picture

  11. paulhargis53 - Apr 14, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    D’antoni is 6’3″

  12. rjlink1 - Apr 14, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    The initial knee injury threw off his mechanics. That’s how injuries happen – you start using your body in ways it’s not used to, or capable of, moving.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:40 PM

      Ovecompensation is what caused the injury. Both legs were weakened — the knee on one leg, the foot on the other. That’s all there is to it.

  13. frankyvito - Apr 14, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    No its not DIRECTLY related to the minutes. But who’s to say how Kobe compensated because of the bone spurs that came about because of…. the heavy minutes. Who knows how things would’ve been different if the Lakers didn’t flutter around losing games they shouldn’t have trying to fit all those square pegs in round holes per D’Antoni?

  14. jacobknicks - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    I trust the trainer who cheated Shaq in Curb more than this guy

  15. xerocc - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Lol if you expect the trainer — or anyone involved — to throw anyone in charge under the bus. D’antoni is still to blame for the simple fact that he should know better than to play someone of Kobe’s age and recent injuries 48 minutes a game

  16. bushido49ers - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    These are some of the craziest posts I’ve ever read. You guys are great entertainment.

  17. adoombray - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    It’s not like they could rest him for the playoffs, they are only one game up on Utah and San Antonio has something to play for tonight – he needed to be playing those minutes to keep his team alive and there’s no way they were going to sit him or he wouldn’t be Kobe Bryant.

  18. melkipershero - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Yep. So selfish he ruined any chance they had. Small as it was.

  19. borderline1988 - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Of course Kobe should have been playing those minutes. The Lakers needed every single one of them. If Dantoni had limited him to 35 mpg b/c of injury concern, and the Lakers don’t make the playoffs..everyone on this board would be screaming like 2 year olds.

    S*** happens. It’s incredible how Kobe has never really had a serious injury his entire career. They weren’t winning in the first round anyways.

    This might end up being good for the Lakers…if Howard is the focal point and the Lakers play well, there’s a better chance he re-signs in the offseason. Because if he doesn’t the Lakers are screwed.

  20. badintent - Apr 14, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    the trainer is covering his Butt. ! End of story.

  21. nard100 - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    So it the minutes Kobe was playing? What exactly would you have been saving him for? The playoffs? Without those minutes the Lakers aren’t making the playoffs. To call those minutes “insane”, suggests there was a choice. If so, what was it? Not play Kobe and miss the playoffs? Don’t think so.

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