Inspirational Black Mamba videos have flooded the Internet since he went down with an Achilles injury, most speaking to his unrelenting drive to succeed. This teaser to "The Last Chapter" of his career is no different.
"I can't walk," Kobe says in the background of the video as clips from his injury flash across the screen. "I try to put pressure on my heel, but there's nothing there."
Words like those—submissive ones—just aren't Kobe. Self-doubt isn't a feeling he was supposed to experience; pain wasn't a sensation he would ever kneel to.
Yet in the aftermath of his latest injury, a potentially career-altering setback, he wasn't immediately able to deflect doubt the way he once could. Mysterious, bordering on downhearted, thoughts began to take precedence. It was unsettling.
Then Kobe was back in almost no time at all.
"I got to be resilient," he says. "I got to be resilient. This thing is not going to beat me."
Outfitted with an unparalleled work ethic, nothing and no one has ever bested Kobe. Not injuries, not opposing players—nothing. And he would turn his cheek to those who believe things will be different this time around.
Nearing the end of an illustrious career, Kobe isn't ready to yield. Phases of his recovery have been well-documented. Forty-foot pencil dives have given his fans hope. His reputation precedes him. The work ethic, the undaunted ambition, the accolades—all of it. He would want us to remember that.
"If there's anybody who can come back from something like this," an analyst says in the background, "it's Kobe."
Soon enough we'll see if that's true. We'll see if Kobe has enough left to ensure this latest "thing" doesn't get him.