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Kobe says ‘only an idiot would’ doubt his resolve to return following latest injury

Dec 19, 2013, 7:19 PM EDT

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

The news that Kobe Bryant would miss the next six weeks with a fractured bone in his left knee was not only devastating to a team decimated by injuries for the second straight season, but it could have taken an emotional toll on Bryant, as well.

The league’s most fiery competitor was sidelined for eight months after tearing his Achilles back in April, and was just beginning to get some rhythm to his game back after playing in six of them following his Dec. 8 return to action.

Bryant was playing increasingly well offensively, and played a key role in the victories in Memphis and Charlotte. While this latest setback is obviously less than ideal, Bryant expects to make his return on schedule, and would have strong words for anyone who chose to doubt him.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Before the natural anguish of learning that his left knee had suffered a fracture, a most improbable sense washed over Kobe Bryant: relief.

“Lucky it wasn’t a meniscus,” Bryant told Yahoo Sports on Thursday afternoon. …

Everything is conspiring against Bryant now, and the declarations of his demise promise to grow louder and louder. He is 35 years old, fighting back from an Achilles tear, a fractured kneecap and awaiting the start of a $48.5 million extension over the next two years. The walls are closing, his path to restoration never so perilous, and yet here was Kobe Bryant on Thursday afternoon making clear his belief on those who’d dare doubt his resolve again.

“Only an idiot would,” Bryant told Yahoo Sports.

We know Bryant will come back, but questions will linger as to whether or not he did so too soon after recovering from his torn Achilles injury.

Bryant was fine from a basketball standpoint, if understandably a bit rusty. But was the rest of his body strong enough to take on the work load, and was this latest injury a result of other areas needing to compensate?

No one knows for sure, and Bryant is right in that it would be foolish for anyone to doubt his level of determination — especially considering that he’s proven for close to two decades just how single-minded he can be when a goal is within his sights. But let’s hope that when he makes it back next time, he does so at full strength to prevent any further injuries from occurring that could derail his final few seasons.

  1. shanelsweet - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    I don’t doubt his resolve, but I do doubt whether or not he’ll be able to play like a $24M player should be able to play. As a Wiz fan, I lived through Arenas, and he was a youngster compared to Kobe.

    • mackcarrington - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      He’s actually making $30M this season. Next season will be a pay cut.

    • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      while kobe is still a great player, the 24 million is not just a reflection of simply on-court exploits. his off court worth is also factored in.

  2. gquesen - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Haha Kobe’s a beast. I don’t even really like the Lakers either. But damn, respect the Mamba.

  3. observingii - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Get the big fork and stick it in him — Kobe Bryant is done!

    • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      boy we’ve heard that one before.

  4. asimonetti88 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Of course he will come back, but you do have to wonder how effective he will be and whether he will be able to stay healthy. Tough season here in LA.

  5. pfic15 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Only an idiot would pay Kobe 48 mil over the next two years.

  6. tomtravis76 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    That’s alot of thank you for your services money if they can still use their amnesty. Let Kobe join another team for a chance at a 6th ring…maybe with his team USA buddy, melo or a vet minimum in Miami? Sure it is all fantasy thoughts, but the Lakers need to rebuild.

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      Can’t amnesty a player’s contract unless it was signed before the 2011 lockout.

      Any new contracts given out since then aren’t eligible for that provision.

  7. 00maltliquor - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    Lakers just signed Kendall Marshall !!! Yesssss!!!!!!!!

    • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      i’m intrigued.

      • 00maltliquor - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:37 PM

        As Papi says on Highly Questionable: Si, si…I’m very intrigue’!!

        Ohh maaan I’m so pumped. I know this is silly and maybe overzealous but I’ve been pulling hard for the Lakers to acquire Marshall since he was a Tar Heel. I’m not saying he’s going to be an all-time great an no I don’t think he’s going to single-handedly take us to the championship (for those of you haters questioning my level of excitement), but I think this kid has something and it needs to be untapped and D’Antoni is just the coach to do it.

        I LOVE these 2013-14 LAKERS and the band of outcasted misfit lottery picks/1st rounders!!!!!!!

      • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        Si, Si !! I’m berry intrigued !
        haha i get a chuckle hearing him say it.

      • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:55 PM

        ‘I LOVE these 2013-14 LAKERS and the band of outcasted misfit lottery picks/1st rounders’

        this year’s lakers motto is : WE ALL WE GOT !

    • antistratfordian - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:03 AM

      Ha. Is this Ramon Sessions level excitement? More? Less?

      • 00maltliquor - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:37 AM


        Marshall is my duuude.

        Although I wish we still had Sessions. In hindsight I wish we could have kept him and stayed away from Nash.

  8. imthedudedude - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    The clippers fan base just got a lot larger this season.

    • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      ba dum chh

  9. 1historian - Dec 20, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    I am not now nor have I ever been a fan of Kobe Bryant, but do admire him for his competitiveness and his absolute refusal to quit, which to me is one of the biggest reasons for how great he was. His 2 year $24 mill per year contract kicks in next season, and at some point the Lakers are going to have to ask themselves – is he worth it?

    To me there is nothing so sad in sports as watching the decline of someone who was once one of the all-time greats. IMO those who set the standard for their sport owe it to themselves and to us to leave us with the memories of them at the top of their game, not caught in the inevitable decline. To me the only one who meets this standard is Jim Brown who retired prior to the 1966 NFL season after only 9 seasons and he is still regarded as simply the greatest football player ever. His stepping down at the top of his powers is one of the reasons for that – we didn’t have to watch his decline.

    Make no mistake – we are watching Kobe’s decline, and it is a sad spectacle.

    • brianjoates - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:15 AM

      tough to tell a man to stop collecting big checks just so the fans can have great memories of his career.

      • 1historian - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:40 AM

        very true

  10. kclanton80 - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    It’s foolish to drastically overpay and try to rebuild around an injured aging superstar. They barely scrapped into the playoffs last year with kobe having a “Renaissance year” (actually just gunning) and chasing their best chance of an immediate future out of town. Lakers fans can keep drinking the cool aide if they want but it’s starting to taste a bit bitter isn’t it???

  11. spursareold - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    I don’t doubt that Kobe will return. I just doubt that he’ll wait long enough to fully recover. Working up the left lower limb, he’ll probably have some sort of hip problem when he rushes back.

  12. theromeo2k - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    He’s talking to you Charles Barkley!

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