How Kobe Bryant Is Using His Injury to Build the Black Mamba Legacy

Kobe Bryant is making the most of a disastrous situation.

Tearing your Achilles is the opposite of ideal. Doing so at 34 is a potential career killer. But that's one stereotype Kobe refuses to pander to.

While there is still no timetable for his return, according to the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan, Kobe himself remains confident.

"It's going good; I feel good," he told Mike Trudell on TWC SportsNet while watching his Los Angeles Lakers face the Denver Nuggets. "I feel like I'm ahead of schedule."

Ahead of schedule. Shattered timetables. Despite the gyrating uncertainty, Kobe continues to use this injury as the ultimate display of his character.

As a means to shatter commonplace expectations and the timetables that come with them, hoping that's enough to reinforce an already-cemented legacy.

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Superstars are celebrated and, therefore, hated too.

Success draws attention, increased exposure spurs envy and with jealousy comes spite and resentment. Prominent sports figures not named Mariano Rivera are almost always despised to some degree, whether it's for their immense success or their personality. Kobe has been denounced for both.

Numerous championships aren't won nor dynasties built without making a few enemies. Not everyone will be happy when you win. Because for you to win, someone else has to lose. And Kobe has won. A lot. Five championships, 15 All-Star selections, one league MVP, two finals MVPs, four All-Star MVPs—that's a lot of hate.

Disdain for Kobe, however, has been compounded by his jagged personality and insatiable ego. For almost two decades, he's been a source of uncensored opinion, always saying what's on his mind without regard for others, including his teammates.

"But this is his team, so it's time for him to act like it," Kobe told ESPN's Jim Gray of Shaqu...

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