Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

In the late hours on Friday night, fighting the pain that radiates from his injured foot, Kobe Bryant did something we don’t see him do often. He acted human.

Around 3:30 am, roughly six hours after all of Los Angeles had their hearts broken, there he was contemplating the previous night’s events. Thinking about the play we’ve seen him do a million times. Back to the defender, head looking over his shoulder, attack. It usually means business. It usually means Kobe is about to do something amazing. But not this time. This time it’s different. This time he’s on the floor. This time it’s serious. Angry and frustrated, Kobe vented on his Facebook page.

“Why the hell did this happen?!? Makes no damn sense.”

Kobe said mimicking the cries of the millions of fans who saw their hero fall Friday night. Why? In this season of so many downs, that started with so many promises. In a season where every Laker starter has had a significant injury. How does the Black Mamba go down too? Then he said something nobody ever thought he would say…

“Maybe Father Time has defeated me…”

The legendary Kobe Bryant, doubting himself? The man who once played half a season and won a championship with a broken finger. The man who played on countless sprained ankles, hurt knees, and even a torn wrist ligament throwing in the towel and admitting defeat. Is he serious? Or is he still coping with his injury? Granted, a torn achilles is no comparison to any injury Kobe has had to fight through, but to hear the Black Mamba question his ability to fight back from another injury is unheard of. He can’t go out this way. He’s not that vulnerable, he’s not that human.

“Then again maybe not!”

That’s more like it…

“One day, the beginning of a new career journey will commence. Today is NOT that day.”

That’s the Kobe we know. That’s the “Mamba mentality” as he put it. The drive that pushes him further than we thought possible. It’s what makes him the Black Mamba. It’s what makes him more than human.

Kobe will have to sit out the rest of the season. He’ll have to will his team to win from the sideline instead of on the court. And he’ll have to watch as his teammates battle without him in the playoffs. But one thing is clear, Kobe Bryant will not go out this way. He’ll have his MRI, he’ll undergo surgery, then while he recovers he’ll grow another year older and another year wiser. But just remember, Vino only gets better with age.

 

Kobe’s full post can be read here: https://www.facebook.com/Kobe/posts/10151563315250419