That shows just how driven this guy is.
Two months later, Kobe stepped back on the court to play against some of the most freakishly gifted athletes in the world.
Granted, his return to the Lakers hasn't gone smoothly. In two games since he came back, they are winless and discombobulated. They are scoring 21 points less per 100 possessions with Bryant on the court than without him, so says ESPN Stats and Info.
But if you're the Lakers, you much prefer life with Kobe than without.
He is obsessive about winning.
A couple years back, the Lakers met the Mavs in the playoffs. That was the year that Dallas would go on to win the title, and in the second round, it obliterated Los Angeles. Swept the Lakers, actually.
But Kobe's resolve never wavered. Not on the court. Not in the locker room. Not in the press conferences.
He believed that the Lakers could win when no one else gave them a chance. Some might say that's foolhardy, but that's the type of leadership that every team craves.
Sure, Kobe isn't warm and fuzzy. He isn't inviting the guys over to his place. He isn't doing movie nights or bowling tournaments. Truth be told, he's way more likely to call them out in public than buy them a beer. But every guy Kobe plays with knows that he'll run through a wall if that's what it takes to win.
That's what makes Kobe the ballplayer so respectable.
If you're looking for role models for your kids or real-life examples for your Sunday school class, look somewhere other than Kobe the person. But if you're interested in winning ballgames in the NBA, you pray for someone like Kobe the ballplayer.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.