Not in like a creepy, green, narrow-headed sort of way. But in a you-can’t-possibly-be-human type of admiration.
Kobe tore his achilles on April 12 against the Golden State Warriors. April 12. That wasn’t even four months ago. And yet he’s apparently on pace to be back in time for the preseason, because of course he is.
Speaking with Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles, Los Angeles Lakers vice president, Jim Buss, said he believed that Kobe would be back in time for the preseason.
“Well, we’re in Vegas, and I would bet a lot of money that this guy comes back probably in preseason,” Buss said.
He’s a machine,” he added. “He’s inhuman. I see him coming back at the beginning of this season. I can’t believe how much he’s progressed so far.”
Can’t really say we’re surprised. Or even slightly surprised. This was always going to happen. You could just feel it from the moment he went down, got back up and sank two free throws. Not only was the Black Mamba not going out like this, he was going to conquer it like no one has before.
As for that “inhuman” reference, I concur. I mean seriously, how long before Father Time just gives up, and realize Kobe isn’t going down. Ever.
Mortality and logic be damned. He’s Kobe effing Bryant. Pushing 35, I’m not the least bit worried he won’t be able to successfully come back from this Achilles injury. Nothing he’s ever done suggest he’ll succumb to such an internal abrasion and nothing any of us are hearing now implies he’s not ahead of schedule.
In fact, his doctor, Dr. Robert Klapper, confirmed that he’s pretty much close to healed.
In 4 weeks ALL restrictions will be lifted. It is then that the timetable is in KOBE's hands and NOT the Surgeon. MAMBA MEDICINE teaching US
— Dr. Robert Klapper (@DrRobertKlapper) July 11, 2013
The Mamba seems to know no bounds. None whatsoever. Should he return in time for the preseason, say, October, that means he’ll have been cured in less than six months. Six months. Derrick Rose tore his ACL back in April of 2012, and he’ll be returning to the floor around the same time Kobe does.
Nothing against Rose, of course. I’m not a Chicago Bulls loyalist, so I couldn’t have cared less if he sat out the entire year. Do I think he should have given it a go in the playoffs just to get a rise out of the fans, and perhaps inspire his teammates? Absolutely. But he didn’t. He took extra precautions. It’s done and over with.
Plus, he’s not Kobe. No one is. This is a guy who has played through injuries his entire career, and pushed rehabilitation timetables like they’re on wheels.
The best way to truly understand how resilient Kobe is, is through Buss’ words. He’s uttering this audacious, borderline unbelievable anecdote, and we’re not crying foul. Or bull. We believe it.
Because coming back early, in less than six months, from an injury that was supposed to ruin him, would be so Kobe.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.