Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant learned Thursday morning that he will miss at least six weeks with a fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, and he wasted no time unleashing an "I'll be back" PR campaign on the league.
On Thursday afternoon, he conducted an interview with Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, and threw down the gauntlet: "Only an idiot would [doubt my return.]"
The interview goes well with the tweet posted on Kobe's Twitter account.
Not to mention the confident interview he gave ESPNLosAngeles' Ramona Shelburne.
Kobe Bryant tells ESPN: "All I can do is do the work. And do everything I can to be back at the highest level."— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) December 20, 2013
Kobe has always been motivated by doubt and negativity from the outside world, even when he was in his physical prime. Now that he is older and suffering through serious injuries, he is relying even more on his desire to quiet the naysayers.
On Dec. 14, in his fourth game back from Achilles surgery, Kobe scored a season-high 21 points in a road win at Charlotte. After the game, he offered a glimpse into the psyche of the Black Mamba. "You always miss those moments, particularly on the road. It's always fun to close a team out down the stretch," Bryant said, according to NBA.com's Derek S. Smith.
For Kobe, nothing is sweeter than shutting a team down in front of its own fans, harnessing all the surrounding hostility and stuffing it down his opponents' throats. That is the kind of attitude shared by many of the game's all-time greats, and it's exactly the mentality needed to overcome a series of injuries at an advanced age.
The road back to form will be long for Kobe, but you shouldn't doubt him. Better yet, you should doubt him. It's what fuels him.