Jarvis Landry says Kobe Bryant’s death inspired him to change his mind about getting hip surgery

Earlier this month, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry underwent successful hip surgery to remove two pieces of bone from the labrum in his left hip. It was a procedure that wasn’t 100 percent necessary — and he initially opted to forgo the operation, but something happened that changed his mind.

The five-time Pro Bowler played through the injury during the 2019 season, but still caught 83 passes for a career-high 1,174 yards and six touchdowns. Landry felt the injury flare up while playing in the Pro Bowl last month, and there was also something else that forced him to rethink surgery — the death of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant

On Sunday, Jan. 26, Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. It was an event that shocked the sports world. The Pro Bowl, which was taking place on the same day, even held a moment of silence for the fallen NBA legend. 

According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Bryant made an impression on Landry when he visited the Browns in December of 2018. Bryant’s death forced Landry to change his priorities, and he explained during an interview on his YouTube channel how that event on Jan. 26 changed his mind about getting surgery. 

“Kobe Bryant dies the same day and I stayed up that night until about 3, 4 o’clock in the morning and I’m watching his story, watching his legacy, watching all of his documentaries and it just hit me. I had this talk with myself like ‘Jarvis you’re hurt. You can’t fake this. You can’t keep trying to be tough for everybody else. You’re hurt.’

“And from that point, I started thinking about, ‘All right, do I play another season hurt and my production goes down? Do I play another season and I’m not the same person? Do I play another season and I hurt something else?’

“All these thoughts kind of came just from watching how short life is and how a legend was taken from us in a time when it was unexpected for everybody. I guess it’s kind of crazy to say that that’s what made me get the surgery, but it’s something that triggered something inside of me to have that self-reflection and be like, ‘Man, you need the surgery.'”

Landry woke up the next morning and called his agent and doctor to schedule the procedure. The 27-year-old wideout has never missed a game in his six NFL seasons, and he knew he had to have surgery soon in order to keep that streak alive. 

While Kobe left this world with memories of countless athletic feats on the hardwood, he also left behind the “Mamba Mentality.” The “Black Mamba” was known for his relentless work ethic, and his philosophy was that with anything in life, you attack what’s in front of you with all your might no matter if you’re ill-equipped or facing insurmountable odds. He lived out that mentality, and it was on full display back in April of 2013. Bryant and the Lakers were facing off against the Golden State Warriors when he went down with a torn Achilles tendon. He was able to stand up, hit two free throws, and then hobbled off the court. The injury was season-ending.

Landry realized that he should undergo the surgical procedure in order to enter 2020 100 percent healthy. He wanted to continue his football career and life in the best shape possible. 

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