Where’ve we seen this before?
A player, playing through pain—more pain than they were either letting on, or that team doctors or coaches cared to pay attention to—pretends to be some sort of Superman, only to crumble to the ground, writhing in pain, their season over, their future in jeopardy.
Their career situations are certainly different, but the handling of Robert Griffin III and Kobe Bryant prior to their season ending injuries couldn’t be more similar.
Both are high-level performers. Both are fierce competitors who weren’t going to let a little pain stop them from putting their teams on their backs. And both gave their respective coaches “no choice” when it came down to letting them keep playing.
When Griffin went down in the playoffs [url a href=”http://fullycovered.sportsblog.com/post/1/the_mishandling_of_rgiii.html”%5DI spoke out[/url] against the way his coaches (namely Mike Shanahan) handled the injury, and my opinion here, with Kobe’s unfortunate situation, falls right in line.
Any gifted athlete, no matter what level they’re at from high school to college to the pros, they’re going to want to compete and do what they can to help their team win. It’s the nature of sport. They aren’t going to give two thoughts to any injuries that they might be playing through; in their minds, the adrenaline will kick in and they’ll be able to forget about the pain once the game gets underway. Even someone as seasoned as Kobe, someone who’s been around long enough, and knows how much his body can take—of course he’s going to have too much pride to admit he’s too hurt to keep going.
At that point, it’s up to the coaches (and doctors, and agents, and managers, and whoever else plays a role in letting these athletes take to the field/court/etc.) to make sure that those individuals are physically able to perform. The well-being of the player is in the hands of those same people, and too often now, we’re seeing coaches place that well-being on the back burner, behind winning.
“It is like putting my head against a wall and he just wouldn’t budge on (resting),” Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni told ESPN. “And there is a part of me that didn’t want him to budge because he’s incredible. It is one of those things. If I had it all to do over again, then maybe (I would sit him). I will second-guess it and look at it, but he is an incredible competitor and it happened and we will go forward.”
Problem is, Mike, you let Kobe continue to play in spite of the ankle injury that everyone and their 80-year-old grandmother could’ve diagnosed.
Throughout all of April, and a majority of March, Bryant averaged almost 43 minutes a game. Far too much for someone that was visibly hurting. I don’t care that the Lakers are fighting for their playoff lives right now—any real fan of that team (I’m not one, just to put that out there) should’ve been concerned about the amount of playing time Kobe was being given.
Instead of making the call and telling him to rest and get as healthy as possible for a potential playoff run, D’Antoni pushed Bryant to the limit and eventually shoved him right over the cliff.
He’ll undergo surgery today, and the recovery time should be revealed shortly (anywhere from three months to a year), but this is something that could’ve been avoided all together if the coaches would’ve just made the responsible call here.
A hopped-up-on-meds Black Mamba [url a href=”https://www.facebook.com/Kobe?ref=ts&fref=ts”%5Dtook to Facebook[/url] to share his (not entirely coherent) thoughts on the matter in the very-early-morning hours Saturday.
This is such BS! All the training and sacrifice just flew out the window with one step that I’ve done millions of times! The frustration is unbearable. The anger is rage. Why the hell did this happen ?!? 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??
I have NO CLUE. Do I have the consistent will to overcome this thing? Maybe I should break out the rocking chair and reminisce on the career that
was. Maybe this is how my book
ends. Maybe Father Time has defeated me…Then again maybe not! It’s 3:30am, my foot feels like dead weight, my head is spinning from the pain meds and I’m wide awake. Forgive my Venting but what’s the purpose of social media if I won’t bring it to you Real No Image?? Feels good to vent, let it out. To feel as if THIS is the WORST thing EVER! Because After ALL the venting, a real perspective sets in. There are far greater issues/challenges in the world then a torn achilles. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, find the silver lining and get to work with the same belief, same drive and same conviction as ever.
One day, the beginning of a new career journey will commence. Today is NOT that day.
“If you see me in a fight with a bear, prey for the bear”. Ive always loved that quote. Thats “mamba mentality” we don’t quit, we don’t cower, we don’t run. We endure and conquer.
I know it’s a long post but I’m Facebook Venting LOL. Maybe now I can actually get some sleep and be excited for surgery tomorrow. First step of a new challenge.
Guess I will be Coach Vino the rest of this season. I have faith in my teammates. They will come thru.
Thank you for all your prayers and support. Much Love Always.
Terrible situation for a future Hall of Famer.