Secret to Kobe Bryant’s Recovery Lies in NBA Legend

Kobe Bryant’s recovery from his Achilles rupture may very well be tied to Dominique Wilkins.

Indeed, much like Bryant, Wilkins was a victim of the same injury early in the 1990s. The high-flyer bounced back and performed at a very high level in the ensuing season. Heck, an argument could be made that the perennial All-Star enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career after tearing his Achilles.

Keep in mind, Wilkins’ game was built almost entirely on his jaw-dropping athleticism. He had a knack for getting himself in the lane and leaping over defenders for scores.

He was a fearsome dunker that also found creative ways to get his points. Wilkins used jumpers, put-backs, post-ups and drives to torture opponents.

The Achilles rupture should have robbed him of these skills given its devastating impacts. Most of the evidence submitted on the injury indicates that players become damaged goods after suffering it. Typically, athletes fail to regain their form, or they simply retire.

Wilkins is the outlier in all of this. Thus, it stands to reason that Bryant and his doctors should study and perhaps even engage the retired star in an effort to pick his brain on his recovery. Wilkins was 32 years old at the time of his tear, whereas Bryant is a 34-year-old superstar duking out a few rounds with Father Time.

Considering the Los Angeles Lakers’ all-time leading scorer was older at the time of his physical setback, one cannot expect him to return with the same level of athleticism of his counterpart. However, the two-time Finals MVP has adjusted his game over the years in anticipation of the decline of his physical gifts.

Thus, Bryant does not need to return jumping higher than ever like, say, Derrick Rose, rather he merely requires a physical fitness comparable to what he enjoyed in 2012-13.

Oddly enough, the five-time champion’s resolve and work...

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