When Kobe Bryant suffered the torn Achilles injury that ended his season, it happened near the end of a game in which the Lakers were trailing by two with just over three minutes remaining, while needing every win at that point just to have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs.
Bryant heroically managed to limp to the free throw line and sink two foul shots following the injury — shots which he personally ranks among the best of his career.
But he tried to make it so he would be able to play even beyond that.
Speaking at Nike headquarters in Oregon on Friday, Bryant explained what was going through his mind moments after the injury took place.
“When I first did it, right there, I was trying to feel if the tendon is there or if it’s gone,” Bryant said. “I realized it wasn’t there. I was literally trying to pull the tendon up, so hopefully I could walk and kind of hobble through the last two and a half minutes and try to play.”
Obviously, that sounds insane. But it’s just another example of the incredible mental and physical toughness that Bryant has shown throughout his 17 NBA seasons.