Lakers’ Wesley Matthews reveals how Kobe Bryant helped him recover from Achilles injury
Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Matthews has a connection with his new team.
Matthews revealed Tuesday late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant actually called him after the guard suffered an Achilles injury in March of 2015.
The 34-year-old said Bryant—who suffered an Achilles injury of his own two years prior—reached out to him in order to shed light on the trails of the recovery process. Matthews stated Bryant’s brutal honesty helped him get priorities in order and stay the course (via Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll).
Wesley Matthews said that one of the people that helped him recover from his torn Achilles a few years ago. He said Kobe called him from an unknown number — they'd never talked on the phone before — and that Kobe being honest about how hard it would be really helped him.
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) November 24, 2020
Kobe was never shy about sharing his wisdom during the Lakers great’s playing days. His words clearly had a resounding impact on Matthews, and still do to this day. In fact, it would seem Bryant’s forewarnings were the precursor to Matthew’s stunning comeback.
An Achilles injury can sometimes take up to 12 months—or longer—to fully heal. But while Matthews suffered the injury in March, he was back on the court in late October. It was a stunning turnaround that speaks to Matthews’ dogged commitment to the process. Moreover, the former Marquette product still managed to play at a high level.
Things have changed for Matthews in recent years. He is no longer relied upon as another scoring option, but rather a physical defender who can also space the floor with his ability to shoot from the perimeter. Both skills will be imperative for this year’s Lakers team, especially with Danny Green no longer on the roster.
Los Angeles will be hoping Matthews can play his role to perfection and be a defensive workhorse. Considering some of the things he has overcome in the past, that would hardly appear to be an issue.