In the rough times, Kobe Bryant was also there to express his warm support for Kevin Durant – in a harsh way of his own.
During his daunting recovery period wherein he ruptured his right Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals, Durant received a needed, yet blunt message from the late basketball great.
“Don’t be a f–king crybaby,” the message from Bryant that Durant shared with The Athletic’s Alex Schiffer. “It’s going to be all right. You’re going to come back and be who you are.”
Durant sustained the injury in Game 5 of the said Finals series as a member of the Golden State Warriors. The Achilles woes served as a hard cushion for the superstar to be shelved for the full season of 2019-2020 in his first year of joining the Brooklyn Nets.
Bryant, for his part, also suffered from a torn Achilles last 2013 against the Warriors in a dramatic fashion, as he tried to will the Los Angeles Lakers to make it to the playoffs in the disappointing 2012-2013 campaign.
Durant can only be nothing but grateful for the encouragement he received from Bryant, given the fact that the Laker icon first experienced the hardship of dealing with the toll of the injury.
“When my mind was racing everywhere, it was good to hear from him,” Durant said. “Especially him going through it later in his career.”
As he now made a full recovery, the 34-year-old Durant is enjoying perhaps the best season of his career, averaging 29.9 markers in a superb 56.8 percent shooting to go with 6.7 boards for the resurging Nets team.