Kobe Bryant Helped Richard Sherman in Recovery from Achilles Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2018

San Francisco 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman (25) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ Mast/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant served as a mentor for San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman during his recovery from an Achilles injury.

On Monday, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com provided comments from both superstars about their friendship, with Sherman saying the five-time NBA champion was "essential" during his rehab process.     

"He and I had a previous relationship and talked and texted all the time," the former Seattle Seahawks corner said. "So he gave me some pointers and things I needed to do early on in the process to make sure that I expedited the healing process and I was more proactive than reactive. I think that was one of the big things."

Kobe, who suffered an Achilles injury of his own in 2013, said he tried to keep things lighthearted when he first reached out to Sherman after the setback.

"When I first called to check on him I said, 'Are you all right—I want to make sure you are not being a baby about it?'" Bryant told Wagoner.

Sherman agreed to join the 49ers less than 24 hours after the Hawks released him in March.

The 30-year-old Stanford product owns an impressive resume that includes four Pro Bowl selections, three first-team All-Pro nods and a Super Bowl championship.

San Francisco gave him a three-year, $27.2 million contract with hope he can return to form as one of the league's top cover men, but Bryant knows the hurdles that lie ahead for his NFL buddy.

"This is the ultimate challenge," he said. "I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. It's horrible."

Bryant added Sherman's "mentality is what separates him" and that it makes the 18-time NBA All-Star "excited for him to come back and show the world what he's got."

The longtime shutdown corner and the 49ers kick off the regular season with a road game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.     

Related

    Positional Analysis of the Super Bowl LIV Matchup

    San Francisco 49ers logo
    San Francisco 49ers

    Positional Analysis of the Super Bowl LIV Matchup

    Golden Gate Sports
    via Golden Gate Sports

    49ers Elite Pass Rush May Overwhelm Mahomes

    San Francisco 49ers logo
    San Francisco 49ers

    49ers Elite Pass Rush May Overwhelm Mahomes

    NFL.com
    via NFL.com

    49ers Should Attack This Key Chiefs Weakness on Sunday

    San Francisco 49ers logo
    San Francisco 49ers

    49ers Should Attack This Key Chiefs Weakness on Sunday

    Niner Noise
    via Niner Noise

    Frank Clark Clowns Dee Ford

    Chiefs DE ‘knows nothing’ about Dee Ford and couldn’t ‘name a stat’ he had before offside penalty in 2019 AFC title game

    San Francisco 49ers logo
    San Francisco 49ers

    Frank Clark Clowns Dee Ford

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report