by: CHESANIE BRANTLEY/Editor-in-Chief
All sports take a toll on the body.
It does not matter if you are 15 or 37 years old. Running, jumping and the everyday actions for an athlete can be hard on the body.
Kobe Bryant, a shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, had surgery after suffering an injury to his achilles heel. He has also had surgery to repair his rotator cuff.
Bryant is catching a lot of criticism after the recent surgery because his shooting percentage has declined rapidly. He has been one of the best shooters in the NBA, but many do not believe he will be able to bounce back.
Bryant is also 37, and I think that has a lot to do with his situation. For being a professional basketball player, 37 is an advanced age. I think he could bring his shooting percentage back up a little. He has not been able to shoot while he has been out for surgery, so it has been awhile since he shot a basketball. Anybody’s percentage would decline some.
Tim Duncan is 39 and still going strong for the San Antonio Spurs, but he has not had the extensive injuries such as these Bryant has suffered from.
But I think if Bryant keeps playing, it will be just a matter of time before he is back in the same boat, except with a new injury. After years of playing at a high level of basketball, the body gets tired and worn down.
Now it is his foot and shoulder, but the injuries will spread to other parts of his body, or he could end up re-injuring himself. Eventually, all that will be left are a bunch of repaired parts that do not work as well as the originals.
After an injury or surgery, there is scar tissue left. From experience, I know after an injury your body can heal back to 100 percent, but it does not feel the same.
It is kind of like an old car. You can put duct tape on the mirror to fix it, but it just does not work the same as before.
I understand feeling passionate about a sport, and how it feels to not be able to do it because of an injury. What I do not understand is when you are aware your body is tired and there are more injuries to come, why do you just keep doing the opposite of what your body is telling you?
This should be Bryant’s last year to play in the NBA. He is a great player. But with the injuries he has suffered, along with his age and his overall performance so far this year, I do not think his future in basketball is bright.
Athletes rely on their bodies for their career, and the toll professional sports puts on their bodies can be overwhelming. By no means is Bryant “old.” But, in the game of basketball, his body, in a sense, is old and more susceptible to future injuries.
Bryant may not be aware that his body is tired, or even care if it is. It will be interesting to see if he can turn his performance around this year. There have also been rumors that Bryant has already discussed the possibility of this year being his last, so I will be interested to see if it is.