We just did a piece on Melo being on Beast Mode for the month of April. Kobe looks at that month and says “that’s so cute…”, because he’s been on Beast Mode for over a decade. Which is why seeing him go down on a non-contact injury, just really made me sick as a fan of this game.
The Black Mamba has a torn Achilles and he’s already had surgery. You know he’s going to do all that he can to come back and I hope he’s able to come back. Actually, strike that…I KNOW he’s going to come back. Basketball is just more fun with him in it. Plus as an official Laker hater, its fun to watch him lose.
The big question is when he comes back, what are we going to see? I’m not sure if people understand how serious this injury is. I’d rather tear my ACL than go through an Achilles injury. There are no Adrian Peterson type miracle stories of people making incredible returns in a short amount of time from this. It’s a LONG, painful and did I mention LONG process…
The most recent NBA player to suffer this injury was Chauncey Billups. Chauncey is about a year or so older than KB and hasn’t been right since that injury. So far this season, we’ve seen a lot more of Billups’ suit collection.
Billups is a borderline Hall of Famer and nicknamed Mr. Big Shot for good reason. But he is nowhere near the athlete that Kobe is. So to get a better idea of what to expect from Kobe, we’ve got to go back to a former great who suffered the same injury and was similar in athleticism…Dominique Wilkins aka The Human Highlight Reel.
Wilkins suffered the exact same injury midway through the 1992 season. At the time, he was averaging 28.1ppg and 7rpg. He underwent surgery 1/30/92 and returned 9 months later for the start of the next season. He averaged 29.9ppg, 6.8rpg, and won the Comeback Player of the Year.
I’m sure Kobe fans are expecting a similar comeback, but there are factors that make me doubt he can get that type of form back.
Dominique was 32 in the middle of his tenth season and had never been injured. Kobe is only 2 years older but he’s in his 17th season! So yeah he’s 34, but he’s an extremely old 34. Made older by D’Antoni playing him over 45 minutes a game and Dwight Howard playing more like Clark Kent than Superman.
The numerous injuries for KB24, just make me think is body may have had enough. He’s pushed himself as far he can go. Can he really push himself any further?
He’ll be back though. Being someone who loves the NBA, I want him back. I just have a hard time believing he’ll be able to dominate the game in true Mamba fashion upon his return.
So enjoy these highlights folks, it’s the end of an era….Mamba Out!
– N.D. Face