It’s one of the most emotionally charged Facebook posts ever written by a superstar athlete.
At 3:30 a.m on Saturday, just hours after crumpling to the floor with a torn left Achilles’ tendon in a win against Golden State, Kobe Bryant expressed a bewildering range of emotions – confidence, doubt, rage, resolve – while coming to grips with the repercussions of a season-ending injury at age 34. “Why the hell did this happen ?!?,” he wrote. “Makes no damn sense. Now I’m supposed to come back from this and be the same player Or better at 35?!? How in the world am I supposed to do that??”
Later in the post, Bryant decides he won’t get too down on himself because “there are far greater issues/challenges in the world than a torn Achilles.” Indeed, the five-time world champion doesn’t have to look far to see them. In the 71, 738 comments left in response to his post is an amazing array of inspirational stories left by people who have wrestled with issues far more grave than Bryant’s.
It’s clear Kobe Bryant’s renowned work ethic has been a great inspiration to his fans over the years. It’s also clear that those same fans could inspire Bryant more than he ever thought possible. If he takes time to read their stories.
Here are the top 10 most inspirational stories left on his Facebook page:
10. Jenni Norris Glasco: My 14 year old cousin broke her neck, shattered it cheer leading. The drs told her parents the best they can hope for is for her to breathe on her own and would be paralyzed from the chin down… Yesterday 22days after crushing her spinal cord and losing 99percent of the nerve function, she walked…20 steps. Like I said nothing is impossible!
9. Kat Corey kobe my husband is a devoted Laker fan and knows how u feel. He became a quadraplegic at the age of 51 when a crane operator at his work dropped a 750 lb air conditioner on his head.doctors said he would never walk again and or have very minimal use of his hands if he got anything back at all.He has your mentality he didnt listen to them he rehabed for 2 years and kept pushing everg day
and today he walks drives and try’s to do everything he can.
nothing is impossible when you believe in yourself, and you do.
8. Greg Mahosky Kobe, I am a 56 year old professional tennis instructor. I had a full tear of my my achilles tendon 2 years ago and was back on court playing full out in 3 months. I was teaching out of a wheel chair three days after surgery because I had to pay my bills as I don’t have a contract worth millions of dollars. Two months ago I was diagnosed with Chordoma Cancer and had to move from Toledo to Boston for six weeks of treatment, now I have two weeks for surgery and two more weeks of radiation treatment again to save my life. I was really rooting for you and the Lakers to make the playoffs and you did a hell of a job getting them there. But don’t complain about your bad break. There are people that look up to you that are much worse off. Count your blessing along with your championship rings. I would love to be where you are, care to trade places??
7. Lisa Rossi Oh what a humble man. You have a right to be angry!!!!! Life sometimes sucks!!!!!! Unfortuntatly we have no control!!!!!Life sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I lost my 27 year old son to cancer in 2011- yes that’s different, but not really…
6. Micki Castillo I feel your pain!! I’m 36 and had a stroke a week ago. Im in rehab now learning how to walk again and use my left hand. It’s very hard but I just take one day at a time. The only reason I’ve made it this far is because of my friends and families thoughts and prayers!!! Oh and lots of hard work in therapy!!! Just hang in there and I will prAy for you!!!! Good luck with everything you will have to go thru!!
5. Jonathon Ulmem: me and my wife where in a house fire in which she sustained 5 metal plates and 30 screws in her leg and ankle and for months she was determined to somewhat walk again so she could walk and hold our sons…… she did it 6 months later….she may never walk for more than 30 feet at a time but those 30 feet to her feel like 30 miles….its all in the inner strength of someone the will power the courage and kobe you both have it….we will see you on the court next year.
4. Aaron Horsley If this is the real Kobe and if you happen to read this . I am 22 now when I was 17 I was a motocross racer but on 10/10/07 I was hit then drug 200 yards under a truck then ran over literally snapping my spine in half leaving me paralyzed from my chest down . Unless there is some miraculous treatment that comes in the future I will spend the rest of my life in a wheel chair. Don’t give up you have made it to your dream don’t just let it go like its dust in the wind. Show the world you are who they said you were . I will pray for you . If you don’t believe what I said about my accident google my name .
3. Pete Huttlinger So Kobe, you’re 35 years old. When I was 49 years old I was a very good guitarist with a thriving career. I had a stroke on November 3rd, 2010. It was a major stroke. I was completely paralyzed on the right side of my body and I was unable to speak. They did surgery on me and I was on the road to recovery. I could not play the way I used to play but a friend said that maybe I would come back as a better player with a different perspective. Then 6 months later I suffered from End Stage Heart Failure. I was dying. After nearly 5 months in the hospital (without playing my guitar at all) I emerged with a heart pump installed. I had gotten down to 110 pounds. I had to relearn how to walk, eat, use a pen – I couldn’t play a lick on the guitar. Fast forward a little bit – I walked a half marathon in Nashville where I live a year to the day from when I was life-flighted out to Houston, TX. Fast forward a little more – I’m back! I’m playing better in many ways than I ever did before and not so much in other ways. But I have an appreciation for life that I’ve never had before. (And I was always appreciative of my life!). You Can get through this. If I did it, you can too.
2. Brian Bair Kobe. I am a 40 year old diver that has destroyed my left leg five times. The last two where falls that snapped an ankle and a knee cap in half and the last snapped my femur right above my four time broken knee. And both in the last four years. I am coming back slow nut still coming back. I can’t give up. It’s what I do it’s what I know it’s what I love. My head gets me there while my knee catches up. So hang in there and do what you do, know and love no matter what. Cuz that rocking chair will kill you faster than anything. Hang in there Mamba. You have been all I got since Big Game James.
1. T-1000 Hey Kobe I am a robotic assassin from the future with a mimetic poly-alloy that allows my body to copy various shapes and other people. I’ve had a really tough time trying to hunt down this kid named John Connor who’s the future savior of mankind, but you won’t catch me giving up. A few minutes ago, while zeroing in on John’s mother like a rabid vulture, I crashed a liquid nitrogen truck into a steel mill! That stuff leaked out of the truck and really froze me up and then things got even worse when a T-800 blasted me with its big-a** gun and shattered me into millions of pieces.
Despite one of the most talented starting lineups in NBA history, the Los Angeles Lakers started this preseason with an 0-8 record. The general consensus is that once Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard recover from nagging injuries and start syncing with Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, everything will be relatively fine in Laker land. That by the time spring rolls around, the veterans will have mostly figured it out, and LA’s 18th championship banner will come ever more into focus for the bleary-eyed unbelievers.
There’s also a contingent that holds out hope around this same time next spring, former Laker Derek Fisher will make his long awaited return after being cast out of the promised land last March. No matter how old Fisher gets (he’s 38 now), some of these fans believe he will never run out of the same .04 magic that propelled the Lakers to the 2004 NBA Finals.
But it won’t be Fisher’s on-court prowess that will ultimately cause Los Angeles to resign him. If that happens, it will be because one of his best friends remains Kobe Bryant, and he commands a respect from Bryant few other teammates ever have before.
Because before all those champagne-soaked June nights, before the cable show cameos and the millions of Twitter followers, Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant were just two NBA rookies hungry for more court time. Before passing the tests which have made them household names, they first tested each other.
It happened early in the 1996-97 season, at a practice in Milwaukee, Fisher recalled in his autobiography “Character Driven.” The duo played two-on-two with fellow Laker rookies Corie Blount and Travis Knight, then went one-on-one after Blount and Knight left.
It quickly got physical. Bryant, then 18 years old, kept using his off hand to hook Fisher and part a path to the basket, Fisher wrote.
“I told him he was fouling me and he didn’t say a thing, just looked at me with that Kobe glare.”
“I was not going to back down, so the next time he tried to hook me, I fouled him – hard and with a push. He didn’t say anything, just took the ball out again. I fouled him again. Things went from heated to boiling.”
“We got in each other’s face about who was pushing whom. Finally we were chest-to-chest jawing at each other, and even though Kobe is six inches taller than me, I was not going to back down. Besides, I weighed nearly as much as the skinny little dude. I’d had enough and I said, ‘You hook me like that one more time, and we’re going to go? Understand me?’”
“Kobe spat back, ‘Why wait? Let’s go at it right now.’
“Fortunately, it didn’t come to our punching each other. We let it drop, and I think we both looked at each other a little bit differently after that. We had tested each other and we’d both passed and earned each other’s respect.”
Respect, indeed. Bryant, of course, would star in the Lakers’ five championships over the next 13 seasons. Yet, his three worst seasons in that span came during the only years - 2004-2007 – Fisher played elsewhere. Which is why in 2010 Bryant didn’t hesitate to call his teammate from Little Rock the “heart and soul” of the Lakers’ most recent title team.
“We spent long nights together as rookies, battling each other, playing full-court one-on-one games,” he told Sports Illustrated. “We’ve been through it, so he can come to me and say, ‘Kobe, you’re [bleeping] up.’ We owe that to each other.’”
By the way, I got a chance to talk to Fisher earlier in October for an Arkansas Life magazine profile article. I asked him who won the game mentioned above.
“I don’t actually recall if we finished the game if there ever if there ever was a score –to be honest – to say that we both finished,” he said. “I scored my share of points, he scored his share of points. We would generally get closer to knocking each other out before finishing a game. So we’ve had our moments where one got the better of the other.”
Steve Nash helps Los Angeles Lakers contend for title of most stacked starting lineup in NBA historyPosted: July 6, 2012
LeBron-Wade-Bosh. Paul-KG-Ray. Kobe-Shaq-Malone-Payton. Hakeem-Pippen-Charles.
So-called NBA super teams are far from new. If anything, they’re in danger of veering into the ho-hum. Every couple summers, such a talent core is cobbled together and the pundits have a field day discussing the possibility of a looming dynasty. As October rolls around, discussion of a run at the ‘96 Bulls’ NBA record of 72 wins in a season ensues. This happens every time. Given such cyclical predictability, is two-time MVP Steve Nash’s arrival in Los Angeles really all that special?
The reason? Start with Udonis Haslem, Kendrick Perkins, Devean George and Cuttino Mobley. And, for previous superteams, recall Kurt Rambis, Marc Iavaroni and Wali Jones. For almost every team that has tried to put together a starting five for the ages, there has been some “glue guy” speedbump to potential era-bestriding superiority. Plenty teams have put out three or four All-Star starters but one of their teammates, the one known for unselfishness, or effort, or defense – anything but mad game built on skill – inevitably screws up his team’s shot at unfathomable sweetness.
Well, the days of a Rick Fox or Byron Scott in the starting lineup are over in the City of Angels. Steve Nash is coming to join four bonafine All-Star caliber players, giving the 2012-13 Lakers some serious elbow room at the table of contenders for the title of most accomplished starting lineup in league history.
Here are top candidates: