When I first heard from Kobe after my Achilles injury last year, he called and said,” Are you all right, I want to make sure you are not being a baby about it.
It may sound like he was being kind of callous, but that’s how guys are when they are talking to their friends about things like injuries. We aren’t all empathetic and compassionate. We poke fun at each other because that’s what guys do to their friends.
How did I become friends with one of the greatest basketball players ever?
Well—it all started back when I was a little kid growing up in Compton. I wasn’t a basketball fan but watched Lakers games with my grandma who was. Like millions of kids all over the world, I quickly became a fan of his. There was just something about his unrelenting competitive drive, work ethic, and determination that spoke to me.
Years later, we met at a Nike photo shoot. I told him I was a big fan and how much I respected what he brought to the game. He said he was a fan of mine, we exchanged numbers, and the rest is history.
Anyway.…he didn’t call just to make fun of me.
He and I have been friends; we talk and text all the time. 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 in my recovery process. To get those tips from someone who has been through the same process, I was about to embark on was invaluable.
He thinks like me. So, I knew the things I was hearing from him would work for me as well. Heading into the whole recovery process armed with the knowledge ahead of time was absolutely essential to my recovery. Rather than delay it by having to learn from my own mistakes, I was able to make a lot fewer thanks to what I learned from him.