Kobe Bryant stayed composed and fought through tears in his postgame press conference, but he could not keep himself collected in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
The Los Angeles Lakers guard, who went down with a little over three minutes remaining in the Lakers' 118-116 win over Golden State, will undergo surgery on Saturday to repair his ruptured Achilles, per the team's official Twitter feed:
Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers
Kobe's surgery is set for 1pm today. Head athletic trainer Gary Vitti called it a "3rd rupture. It’s gone. It has to be sewn back together."4/13/2013, 7:39:18 PM
Prior to that announcement, Bryant took to Facebook to air his frustrations. Posted right around 3:30 a.m. PT, Bryant gave a lengthy public statement—335 words to be exact—on his mental state following the injury.
Here is the complete statement (via Bryant's Facebook page):
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 (sic) 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.
Always wearing his heart on his sleeve, it seemed this was what Bryant really wanted to say as he fought back tears after the game. At 34 years old, having altered his game drastically and poured 40-plus minutes per night into resurrecting this Lakers team, one could see why Bryant would be so emotional.
The light was at the end of the tunnel. Los Angeles’ victory on Friday night kept the Lakers ahead by a full game over the Utah Jazz for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. With just two games remaining in the season, that win should have been the latest triumph in a battle back from a 17-25 abyss.
Bryant had played the most integral role in that charge, and Friday’s injury leaves him unable to see it to the end game. Even for a player like Bryant, who has weathered his fair share of adversity, "exasperated" would be an understatement for his state of emotion.
But in true Mamba fashion, he has already begun putting his best foot forward. Though mostly a rant from a frustrated man, Bryant’s statement also already put all talk of retirement to bed.
With Kobe having already mentioned retirement multiple times this season, there were some who feared he would hang up his Nikes after suffering a long-term injury.
Though it will be of little solace to Lakers nation in the interim, at least No. 24 will be stepping on the Staples Center floor again as an active player.
When that happens, though, remains to be seen.