Los Angeles Lakers physical therapist Judy Seto said Thursday that Kobe Bryant’s pain tolerance is “the highest that (she’s) ever seen.”
The 36-year-old Bryant, who suffered a torn left Achilles tendon in April 2013 and a fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee eight months later in December, averaged 13.8 points, 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds over six contests.
“I think that trait makes him who he is, and his ability to focus also allows him to channel his energies,” said Seto. “It’s not that he doesn’t feel pain; it’s how he responds.”
Without Bryant, the Lakers (27-55) finished in the basement of the Pacific Division and failed to qualify for the playoffs for only the third time in two decades.
To strengthen their roster, general manager Mitch Kupchak drafted Julius Randle in June and subsequently acquired Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin as free agents.
Considering Father Time is undefeated, Bryant can’t be pleased with Kupchak’s work this offseason.
A 10-time All-NBA First Team selection, Bryant has competed in 1,245 games as a professional and is graying and worn.
Although it’s possible the “Black Mamba” was bit by two fatal athletic injuries in less than a year, an extended layoff may prove to be the perfect medicine for Bryant.
Regardless, whether gimpy or potent, Kobe Bryant is “who he is” and that will make the Los Angeles Lakers a far more difficult foe this season.by