2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.3 blocks on 46.3 percent shooting
Games Missed: 4
Kobe Bryant is something else.
Only the Black Mamba could tear his Achilles then proceed to hit two much-needed free throws. Knowing all he's capable of even in injury, it seems implausible to believe he won't come back feisty as ever.
But while it sometimes seems like it, the NBA isn't an independent society that exists outside of reality.
Kobe is almost 35 and fresh off suffering a career-threatening injury. Everything he's done for the last 17 years defies logic, but it would be naive of us to not question whether this time will be the same.
Chances are, Kobe will be ready for opening night. I've got no inside information, only the almost-two decades worth of evidence the Mamba has provided us with.
History says he'll be fine soon after, and he'll come back to lead the Lakers in scoring.
Natural regression to the mean implies something different. Time is inescapable, and one could argue Kobe has been operating on borrowed amounts of it. Working his way back isn't going to be easy, and I'd guess there will be moments when he first returns that are difficult to watch.
How he, his body and unrelenting will to play at a high level respond to such hardships will help define what's left of his career.
And what's left of his career won't be known, even by him, until he steps foot on that court and makes it his mission in life to show us all he still has to give. Again.