Lakers color commentator Stu Lantz calls Kobe Bryant as someone being from “another planet”.
As we all know, Kobe tore a ligament on his shooting wrist against the Clippers last Dec. 21st. We also know that he’s averaging 30.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game since, including a back-to-back 40+ points performance the last 2 games against Phoenix and Utah. Yes, he is also averaging 3.8 turnovers per game, but given that he is also handling the ball and setting the table for his teammates, that turnover ratio should be higher.
In fact, none of his season numbers should be as high as they are right now. According to The Hand and Wrist Institute, here are some of the symptoms of a torn ligament on the wrist:
- Usually localized pain if isolated ligament tear
- Limited motion
- Painful popping/ clicking
- Aggravated with increased activity
Yet with all of that, Kobe is still shooting 46% from the field (which is actually right about his career average), 83.5% from the free-throw line, dribbling cross-overs and passing with proper speed and accuracy most of the time! And we’re not talking about wide-open shots too. Most of his shots are coming from his usual spinning-fadeaways, off-balanced drifters, 3-pointers, stop-on-a-dime jumpers, reverse layups and two-handed dunks like nothing is wrong.
Bryant is known for his mental toughness and ability to ignore pain. But there’s a difference between ignoring pain and playing with an injury that severely limits the very part of your body that you need in every part of the game.
It’s like playing football with shackles on and each movement of your legs pokes a huge needle on your ankles. Same goes to trying to hit a baseball with a pencil after drinking a case of beer or playing NBA 2K12 with all the User sliders on offense set at 10 and try to score the way Bryant does…with Luke Walton (Ok, that’s probably a bit too much).
But here’s Kobe still playing at an elite level. No way anybody should be doing that.
Well, no one from this planet at least.