IT’S 2013, about three months after he’d ruptured his Achilles. The healing process had been going well. If he’d waited even a day to process the devastation, inflammation would’ve set in, his recovery would’ve been nine months instead of seven. Instead, he told the surgeons to cut into him while the tendon was still dangling and raw.
But deep inside he knew this was the injury that signaled the end of his basketball career.
“I’m laying in bed, with my cast on,” he says. “And I’m like, ‘OK, you got to figure out what you’re going to do next because I’ll be damned if I retire without a purpose. That’s not going to happen to me.'”
Limited Youth Norichika Aoki Jersey For all his unyielding belief in his own exceptionalism, Kobe looked at his broken-down body as if it was time to harvest the organs.
Now think of what Kobe’s family was doing. His wife wasn’t waiting anxiously for his return. She was kicking him out and throwing his stuff in the street.
McGrady had been close to Kobe since they first came into the league. He’d even lived with Kobe and his parents for a week before his rookie season.
Did he notice anything different about Kobe that night?
“He wasn’t as aggressive in the first half,” McGrady says. “That I remember.”
Limited Youth Phil Esposito Jersey I tell him the story of what really happened before the game. McGrady is stunned.
“It was that game?” McGrady says. “Oh, man.
“Listen, I knew this cat was insane. He fucking went through that trial and was coming back and forth and was still fucking going nuts. That right there, I knew he was obsessed with basketball, like this was his fucking life.”