The rejuvenation of death

via Docfunk
(via – Docfunk)

Revenge is a dish best served like I like my steak — bloody.

Okay, I don’t think that’s an actual saying. Pretty sure I mashed up a snippet of 19th century European literature and a quote from Charles Rane right before he breaks free of custody whilst taking an airplane hostage in Passenger 57. However, I think the point still stands. Revenge is for everybody. We may want to pretend to be humble on most days, but other than Ricky Rubio, real housewives from anywhere, and dancing competitions, there is nothing people enjoy more than getting revenge.

During last season, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers were turned from contenders into afterthoughts. The axis of ego came together in Miami under the bright lights of a laser show, smoke machines and fireworks. The Chicago Bulls emerged from playoff scrapper into one of the best teams in the NBA. The Oklahoma City Thunder kept their slow and steady ascension into the elite tier of NBA teams moving forward. And the Dallas Mavericks stunned us all when they not only beat the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs, but waxed the floor with them so well that it caused us to immediately dismiss one of the more talented and title-ready teams in the NBA.

Where did that leave Kobe Bryant?

13 seasons. 40,000 regular season minutes. 8,000 playoff minutes. Bad knee, bad ankle, bad finger, on the wrong side of 30.

Kobe quickly became an afterthought because for the first time in four years he was finally fallible. Sure, he was fallible long before getting swept by the Mavs. He shot too much, he wasn’t a team player, he was getting too slow on defense, he played hero ball too often. All of these were valid concerns that could easily be brushed aside because the Lakers were winning a lot. Not only were they winning a lot, but they were making the NBA Finals every year. Ever since Kobe finally received help in the form of Pau Gasol, the Lakers hadn’t missed a Finals. They were coming off of two straight titles and believed to be the favorite in the West to secure a real shot at a third straight.

Then Dallas rained hellfire and brimstone down on the Staples Center, Andrew Bynum decided to forearm shiver a child, and the Lakers were no longer a priority in this new NBA.

Some players would quietly accept their fate. They would put in enough work to remain relevant, collect their giant checks, put up nice stats and be resigned to bowing out early in the playoffs until it was time to retire. But Kobe Bryant doesn’t get down like that. In fact, he doesn’t get down like really anybody.

Bryant is constantly focused on one singular goal and one singular goal only. Get the job done or die by your own sword. There isn’t any other way. It’s not that Kobe is necessarily selfish; it’s just that he has to do it himself or he’s not going to be satisfied. Kobe’s never going to be unable to open a jar of applesauce, hand it to you and then make the excuse of he loosened it for you when you pop that sucker open. If he can’t twist the top off, he’s going to break the jar over his head and enjoy a heaping helping of apple purée and broken glass in complete and utter satisfaction.

Instead of putting in the same off-season work he always does, Kobe knew he had to change something in order to compete with this new NBA. The status quo wasn’t good enough last time, so why would it work this time? Kobe had to reverse the aging process. And there was only one way to do this…

Kobe Bryant became a vampire.

Sure, he said he went to Germany to get a procedure called “regenokine” done on his knee and ankle. Some have accused him of blood doping, while some believe the new-aged, breakthrough procedures are something that could change the face of professional sports. But the real explanation for this sudden reversal of health is nothing short of a vampirical metamorphosis.

I believe Kobe went to Berlin. I believe he paid for a hotel there and was seen heading into the clinic of Peter Wehling. I also believe he snuck out the back, hopped in a Mercedes and headed down to Transylvania, Romania. It’s roughly a 15-hour drive, easily doable in a single day’s journey. When I moved from Sacramento to Minneapolis this past September, it was 28 hours of driving that we packed into 36 total hours. We did 16 hours in one day, to end up in the mountains of Wyoming. This was all done in a packed Chevy Tahoe without any room to even recline our seats. So to think Kobe could comfortably zoom through Germany, the Czech Republic and into the mountains of Romania doesn’t seem far-fetched at all.

Whilst in Transylvania, Kobe sought out a man with the cold, piercing look of the undead. This man lurked in the shadows of the night, looking to feed off of the life of others so that he could avoid the death of generations. This whisper of the dawn, Vladmir, made a pact with Kobe; giving him eternal sunshine on a spotless bill of health in exchange for his servitude later on down the road. It didn’t matter what he may be called upon to do a year, 10 years, centuries from now. Kobe would regain his glory and more importantly, the fear of generations of those too quick to dismiss his existence.

Fast-forward to the present day and Kobe has taken on a task far too tenuous for any mere 32-year old gunslinger. His usage rate currently resides just north of 39%, competing with his all-time mark of 38.74 set six years prior. His PER is the second highest he’s every posted. He’s shooting 51% from 16-23 feet when he’s never topped 42% since 2007, the downside of the peak of his NBA career.

Kobe has scored 88 points in his last two games, proving to all that he’s not to be forgotten or dismissed. He’s scoffing at ranking projects and pretending it’s motivation for his play right now. However, those who have picked up on the lack of reflection his mirrors posses of him or the constant assurance that his meals aren’t being cooked with garlic are hip to where all of this is coming from. Public perception left Kobe Bryant and his team for dead, so he did the only sensible thing that he thought was left:

See how the NBA likes it when he’s undead.

The emphasis on the deconstruction of what Kobe Bryant is capable of doing has led to the lack of decomposition he will carry with him for an eternity. He will lurk in the narrows of towns, shifting from shadow to dark corner. His prey will be the unsuspecting. His conquests will be swift and without warning.

Sharpen your stakes and prepare for a war. His cold, unwavering grip of death clutches the revenge he so seeks to spread.

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  1. [...] player ever, or pay his debt to the magic elves that gave him the gift of life once again after he became a vampire, who’s going to tell him no without suffering severe bite [...]

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