Kobe Bryant is keen to recover from a surgery he underwent to repair a torn rotator cuff he sustained at the end of last season.
He skipped the All-star game this weekend at New York, the 17th of his career, after being voted for as starter to prioritize his rehabilitation schedule.
Bryant also missed the last season’s All-star game due to a torn Achilles tendon.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ legendary star’s first All-Star appearance was at Madison Square Garden in 1998, an event marked by Bryant and Michael Jordan, who won MVP honors.
“The body is good. I feel good. … My lower body is solid. There are no question marks on what I can do. My body and my legs feel extremely strong and healthy. That’s the big difference. My upper body, I’ve been doing the weights and stuff like that. I’ve been kind of building up the upper body strength. The biggest change is I feel very, very solid in my legs,” said 36-year-old Bryant when asked why he went through a tedious rehabilitation.
“I’m crazy. Ha, ha, ha. I love playing. I enjoy it. It’s weird. You go from as a kid loving the game, thinking you will be able to play forever to being where I am now and understanding there is some finality to it.”
Kobe Bryant’s Future
Bryant discussed his rehabilitation, career highlights and what motivates him to continue in an interview with Ahmad Rashad aired in NBA TV.
”I can’t say it is the end,” Bryant told Rashad. ”I thought the Spurs were done 20 years ago. Those guys are still winning. So, to answer the question, I can’t say this is the end of my era because I thought their (era) was done and they’re still there. So I’m hoping I can have the same rebirth.”
What is the motivation behind plotting a comeback so seriously?
”The process of it. I want to see if I can. I don’t know if I can. I want to find out. I want to see,” Bryant said. ”What I’m going to do is do what I always do: I’m going to break everything down to its smallest form, smallest detail, and go after it day by day. Just one day at a time.”
Lakers’ General Manager Mitch Kupchak has other plans. He wants Bryant to quit after the coming season. Bryant defies such ideas in his own style.
“I’m making this very simple,” Kobe said. “Either I like playing the game and going through this process or I don’t. I try to strip it down to the simplest form. Either I like playing some more or I don’t. But I think that decision needs to be made after the season. It’s hard to make a decision like that before the season.”
Bryant is eager to feature on court for the coming season, with retirement on cards.