Kobe Bryant: The Man with the Mask Goes to Battle

Jess Matthew Beltran@sportsalchemistCorrespondent IIMarch 3, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 29:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up wearing a guard to protect his broken nose before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on February 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant shrugged everything off as he puts on his protective mask. He was like a gladiator putting up his gear before going to battle.

“The man with the mask," and this time, the hero shows no anonymity, Kobe had only one battle cry—this is going to be war!

Bryant had the sense of urgency that nobody in the NBA has. After undergoing an experimental platelet-rich plasma therapy last year and an ongoing torn ligament on his right wrist before the season began, Kobe has endured the pain, brushed everything off and still played effective basketball.

This is not going to be all about titles this time…Kobe will have to deal with one player whom nobody could ever guard—father time.

So little time and so much to do…he is now one title short of tying Michael Jordan’s six NBA titles and after scoring 27 points in the All-Star game, he moved past Jordan as the career scoring leader. However, he had to undergo a broken nose and a concussion coming from a hard foul by Dwayne Wade.

This has become a realization, as we get older, it gets a little bit harder. Being the Alpha dog means you are a walking target. But Kobe delivered a sterling message—even with a broken nose; a concussion or a torn ligament, nobody could stop him.
He wanted to win…and with injuries and so much uncertainty, winning has become his haven.

All roads lead to June…with bigger and stronger competition, there is no time to rest…endure the pain now, rest later.

Nobody will stay in the game forever…and sooner or later, Kobe will have to pass his baton. But as long as he can play competitive basketball, we won’t be seeing him hanging up his jersey in the rafters any time soon.

The man with the mask steps into the court and goes to battle, dropping 31 points against Minnesota and 38 points against Sacramento. And with just a few hours left before the Lakers plays Miami, Kobe has only one mindset—this is going to be war! And everybody should be ready.

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