Kobe Bryant Played A Game Despite Back Spasms To Prove That He Wasn’t Ducking Vince Carter

AP Photo/Brandon Dill

Kobe Bryant Played A Game Despite Back Spasms To Prove That He Wasn’t Ducking Vince Carter


Over the years, there have been countless stories that highlight Kobe Bryant’s extreme competitive nature and tenacity over the course of his 20-year career in the NBA.

One story winds up to the year 2000, when Vince Carter, one of the most electrifying NBA players, was making some noise in the entire league.

At that time, Bryant was suffering from back spasms and was in danger to miss his game against Carter and the Toronto Raptors. However, the narrative behind it was Bryant may be avoiding his highly-awaited matchup against the high-flying Raptors shooting guard – something Bryant wasn’t thrilled to hear.


“As a competitor, I’m not ducking sh*t. Like it’s not, ‘Oh my God my back hurts, I’m sore. We got to play Vince Carter and Toronto Raptors tonight,” he added. “Vince was tearing the league up. My back was jacked. But like the perception of that. Like what? ‘Kobe’s missing the game against Toronto, Vince Carter…But people will be like, ‘What? Oh, he’s ducking Vince.’ Excuse me? No, I don’t think so.”


Many times Bryant found himself shaking off an injury just to insist on playing; he once took free-throw shots before leaving a game with a torn Achilles, and there was also a time when he suffered a dislocated finger against the San Antonio Spurs, yet Bryant kept on playing after it was popped back in. 

This game against the Raptors wasn’t any different. 


“So I’ll be in the layup line like, ‘Ok, there’s going to be a lot of days where you know you can rest and recover. Today ain’t one of them. Your back can bother you any other day. That shit ain’t bothering me today. He (Vince Carter) gonna have to see me today.” Kobe narrated.



Bryant’s competitive nature was highly documented throughout his entire career. Bryant’s willingness to compete against all odds and his mentality to push through almost everything had served him well in the long run. As a five-time champion, Bryant hung up his jersey as one of the best players to ever play the game.

On the other hand, Carter retired from the game of basketball last year, after a long-lived 22-year journey in the NBA. Carter may not be on the same hierarchy as Bryant, but he left us an unforgettable legacy filled with some of the most iconic moments in basketball history.

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