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“It’s the first time that I saw him cry.” — The only injury that made Kobe Bryant cry

Pau Gasol spent a lot of time with Kobe on and off the court and he couldn't forget the day the Black Mamba tore his Achilles.
Los Angeles Lakers injured guard Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant suffered different injuries throughout his career. He took them all like on with Mamba mentality, but one injury was too much even for Mamba - a torn Achilles.

“It’s the first time that I saw him cry”

Kobe was a known tough guy who didn’t back down against challenges: physical, mental, or emotional. But one concern proved too much that and he let down his shield and became human. Bryant suffered an Achilles tear in 2013, proving too much even for the Black Mamba to take in. Former teammate Pau Gasol witnessed how the injury devastated his friend back then.

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The Black Mamba was mean on the court. Kobe let anyone know he was the hunter, and the court was not for anyone who wasn’t willing to lay it all on the line. Seeing him in such a vulnerable state probably shocked his teammates, and it sent a message that Bryant was, after all, a human being. 

Pau Gasol was more than just a teammate; he was family to Kobe. The pain of the injury wasn’t the one that made the Lakers legend cry; it was the state of helplessness and the subsequent long absence from the game he truly loved.

Kobe Bryant’s history of injuries

Bryant’s injuries caught up to him later in his career. Many of those Kobe suffered because he went the extra mile to get the win. It was all or nothing every game, and Kobe didn’t cherrypick the battles he participated in.

Kobe had a myriad of injuries throughout his career. But the most critical ones were the ones when he missed multiple games. The Black Mamba missed 15 games for a Fractured Metacarpal, 14 games for Severe Right Ankle Sprain, at least 39 games for a Fractured Knee, and 19 games for Achilles’ Surgery. With all these, he probably deserved a new moniker like Superman or Android for having undergone so many correctional procedures.

Part of what made Kobe Bryant a hero in the eyes of his fans was his perseverance amid challenges. He walked the talk and didn’t sit out games due to load management, even if he deserved to because of his contributions to his team. There will never be another Kobe Bryant. This story of him breaking down just adds another layer to his already illustrious legend. 

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