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Kobe says latest injury had nothing to do with his previously torn Achilles

Dec 26, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT

NBCSports.com

LOS ANGELES – Kobe Bryant met the media before the Lakers faced the Heat on Christmas Day, providing the league-mandated update on how he’s recovering from the fractured bone in his knee that currently has him sidelined for an expected timetable of up to six weeks.

Many believe that when injuries occur to a different part of the body shortly after a player has suffered a major injury somewhere else that the two are related — the body may be somehow overcompensating, or not well-conditioned enough to withstand the game’s rigors after missing so much time.

Bryant was emphatic, however, when asked if his latest setback might be a result of pushing himself too hard, too soon.

“Because it’s Christmas I will refrain from being a smart ass,” he said. “I don’t think one had anything to do with the other. I mean, we evaluated it pretty extensively. The fact of the matter is, any of us can get hurt at any moment. The key for us as athletes is to block that fear out, and when you have injuries that fear is enhanced. You kind of put yourself under a microscope and you start thinking about it too much. It can happen to anybody. So you just have to tune that noise out and go out there and perform.”

Bryant believes he was beginning to play like his old self, and pointed to the circumstances of his 21-point performance in 33 minutes in his last game before the injury, a 96-92 win over the Grizzlies.

“It was a great test going up against Tony Allen, who in my opinion has been the guy who defended me the best individually since I’ve been in the league,” Bryant said. “And with four games in five nights, to be able to go up against him and respond to that challenge, I was feeling really good about things.”

The comments from fans and professional analysts alike declaring Bryant as washed and questioning whether he’ll be anywhere close to his former level of ability have not gone unnoticed by Bryant himself. And he seems to possess the same steely resolve to prove the doubters wrong, perhaps now more than ever.

“I feel more locked in now than I have my entire career because of this,” Bryant said. “My spirits are fine, focus is great and we’re just going to have to see what happens when I come back.”

  1. asimonetti88 - Dec 26, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    “It was a great test going up against Tony Allen, who in my opinion has been the guy who defended me the best individually since I’ve been in the league,” Bryant said.

    But I thought Ruben Patterson was the Kobe Stopper??

  2. thomaskouns - Dec 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Though he may not want to admit, injuries like this are often the result of the body overcompensating to make up for the original injury.

    • cubb1 - Dec 26, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      If Kobe admits the injuries are linked, he would also be admitting that he made a mistake and came back to early. I doubt Kobe will do that.

  3. nflcrimerankingscom - Dec 26, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Kobe Bryant, DPT MD PhD

  4. harshedmellow - Dec 26, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    If you search back through the staggering compilation of pure genius that are my posts, you will see me predicting a knee injury for Kobe due to compensation for the injury.

    #harshedmellowRULES!

    • redbaronx - Dec 26, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      @harshedmellow – A lot of people were making that predication, including people posting on PBT (including myself), commentators (Charles Barkley comes to mind), and other NBA players. His timetable was unrealistic.

      Kobe thinks this is all about mentality, just like MJ did when he was with the Wizards. The reality is that when players get older, they have to be more careful and slower to return from injuries. MJ should have been a cautionary tale for Kobe. Mark Price and Sean Elliott also comes to mind. Or Larry Bird who should have stopped making floor dives after his injury in 89.

      Coaches need to learn how to say no to their star players sometimes.

  5. antistratfordian - Dec 26, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    I mean, we evaluated it pretty extensively

    The people who are telling him that they are not related are the same people who advised him during his rehab. They are also the same people who gave him the thumbs up to come back 25 pounds heavier. So of course they’re going to be very interested in trying to convince people that it’s just a completely unrelated freak accident.

  6. urodaddy07 - Dec 26, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    So, D. Rose’s timeline was unrealistic too? You all need to shut it. He’s injured. It may or may not be due to over-compensating. Stop acting like you know anything because you guessed he would re-injure himself. Ridiculous!!

    • theromeo2k - Dec 26, 2013 at 11:48 PM

      Double Thumbs up!!^^

  7. mackcarrington - Dec 26, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Kobe is going to use his superior will power to heal the cracked bone in his knee.
    He is going to prove that it’s “mind over matter”.

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