kobe bryant

Originally published in SLAM 168

“Can we replace my bones?”

The German doctor looked at his American client in surprise, then checked again with the translator to see whether he was hearing correctly. The translator nodded in affirmation—that was definitely the question. The doctor took a deep breath and shook his head. This was going to take a while.

He had taken on the American client without a second thought. The money was right, for starters. And what doctor didn’t want such a high-profile name on his résumé? Then the questions began, and the doctor not only began second-guessing his choice of clientele, but whether he should have gone into medicine in the first place:

“What about carbon fiber ligaments?” “Can you see a gain in performance from joint replacements if they’re done correctly?” “I know you’re not a neurosurgeon, but is there a way to get my synapses to trigger just a billionth of a second faster?” “Do I really need both kidneys?”

The doctor sighed and rubbed his eyes, motioning the translator to leave. When the door closed, he turned to his client, cutting him off before he could ask anything else. “Look Kobe,” he said patiently. “Let’s just do the platelet thing and see how you do with that.”

Russ Bengtson