Man… so much running through my mind at the moment that I don't know what to say. I do know that I cannot sum it up as accurately or as succinctly as a certain Suns fan from Australia that I know…
Here's how he closed his piece on Kobe, and Kobe's injury:
Kobe proved to me – to everyone – that he's willing to literally destroy his body to get his team to the playoffs. He has apparently (yet to be confirmed by MRI) torn his achilles tendon completely – as in, there is no longer a connection between his calf muscle and his heel – and as his final act, stepped to the free throw line and made both free throws to give the Lakers a two point lead. With a completely torn achilles tendon. It has taken me until now to believe it, but that moment was Kobe Bryant epitomised.
It seems only fitting that Kobe is brought down in much the same way as the mythological hero his injured tendon was named after, because throughout his career Kobe has seemed as untouchable, as unbeatable as Achilles was in myth. For the sake of good basketball, we can only hope the arrow to Kobe's heel is not the fatal blow it was to Achilles – we're not ready for a post-Bryant NBA, much the same as I suspect the man himself is not ready for a post-NBA Bryant.
Love him, hate him or merely dislike him, all I ask is that you open your eyes, ignore your biases and give Kobe Bryant the respect that he truly deserves.
It's a worthy read, and I'd hope that a lot of Kobe's detractors end up in the same place. Kudos, Mike.