Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Apple Inc.

Since he first broke into the public eye almost 20 years ago, Kobe Bryant has split opinions. He’s one of ‘the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels.’ that Apple were talking in the above text.

Indeed, ‘you can quote Kobe, disagree with him, glorify or vilify him. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore him.’ It’s as simple as that.

Achilles Injury, Facebook Rant & A Strange Empathy

Last week, I awoke to the news that Kobe Bryant had torn his achilies and could miss up to 9 months of the action. Or even worse, at 34, and after 17+ years at the top, this injury could spell the end of Mamba’s career.

The first reaction I read about this news was from Kobe himself, via his now infamous, lengthy and honest Facebook rant –

This is such BS! All the training and sacrifice just flew out the window with one step that I’ve done millions of times! The frustration is unbearable. The anger is rage. Why the hell did this happen ?!? Makes no damn sense. Now I’m supposed to come back from this and be the same player Or better at 35?!? How in the world am I supposed to do that??

I have NO CLUE. Do I have the consistent will to overcome this thing? Maybe I should break out the rocking chair and reminisce on the career that was. Maybe this is how my book ends. Maybe Father Time has defeated me…Then again maybe not! It’s 3:30am, my foot feels like dead weight, my head is spinning from the pain meds and I’m wide awake. Forgive my Venting but what’s the purpose of social media if I won’t bring it to you Real No Image?? Feels good to vent, let it out. To feel as if THIS is the WORST thing EVER! Because After ALL the venting, a real perspective sets in. There are far greater issues/challenges in the world then a torn achilles. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, find the silver lining and get to work with the same belief, same drive and same conviction as ever.

One day, the beginning of a new career journey will commence. Today is NOT that day.

“If you see me in a fight with a bear, prey for the bear”. Ive always loved that quote. Thats “mamba mentality” we don’t quit, we don’t cower, we don’t run. We endure and conquer.

I know it’s a long post but I’m Facebook Venting LOL. Maybe now I can actually get some sleep and be excited for surgery tomorrow. First step of a new challenge.

Guess I will be Coach Vino the rest of this season. I have faith in my teammates. They will come thru.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. Much Love Always.

Mamba Out

I’ve followed Kobe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for a while now. He’s one of the few athletes I do follow – I find most to be very boring. Yep, I said it – athletes are boring. They shouldn’t be, but most are.

Most athletes use social media in a generic way; a way to build their persona, media profile, extend any commercial deals they can and to help them stay relevant after their careers. They live extraoridinary lives, are extraordinary people, yet manage to present that in a very ordinary, uninspiring way.

Very few athletes use social media in order to change opinions, or present themselves in an alternate way than the media already does. However, Kobe is different. He uses social media to show the real him, to change perceptions and make his own voice heard.

When he got injured it would have been easy for the media and fans to go back through the archives and pull out a career’s worth of stories to look back on; the sociopath who only cares about winning, the man who once spent a playoff series travelling between games and a court in Colorado, the beef with Shaq etc. But none of these stories have really been mentioned.

Kobe took control of his own news and told it better than you, I, or any journalist could. His Facebook post was raw, from the heart, showed clear emotions and a human side to one of the planet’s biggest sporting stars.

Real Recognise Real

His post made me, and many others, feel an empathy towards him. Kobe is a real person, just like you and me. Sure he’s a millionaire sports star, but we can feel his pain and relate to his feelings of struggling to come to terms with what’s happened, questioning himself, his abililty and worrying about what’s next.

There’s great value in frank, honest communication with your audience. It’s a great way to build relationships, trust, loyalty and change perceptions.

Following this rant Kobe has posted many positive updates across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Sina Weibo (NBA is big in China, and this platform provides a huge opportunity to build his brand – why let injury hold you back, eh). At all times Kobe remained in control of his feelings whilst also giving us an intimate insight into his emotions and mindset following injury.

By being open, sharing his thoughts and remaining upbeat following a setback, Kobe has used social media to turn bad luck into a huge opportunity.

I, for one, am hoping we see Kobe return to full health, provide a few more seasons of Mamba magic, and ride off into the sunset with another championship in tow.

Here’s to the crazy ones…

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