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Kobe Bryant ‘Achilles’ sculpture from Taiwan is a mythological marvel (photos)


Kobe Bryant may be a revered, idolized and respected superstar here in the States, but in Asia, the Los Angeles Lakers veteran, like many American athletes, are worshiped as if they were the modern day incarnation of mythological heroes. Just ask this guy.

Given his status as practically an otherworldly entity, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that a sculpture recently discovered in Taiwan bestows mythological status upon the basketball player and depicts him as one of the most iconic characters from Greek myth.

Designed by artist Roger Huang, “Achilles” fittingly depicts Kobe as Achilles, the Greek hero who was nearly invincible after his mother dipped him in the River Styx as an infant. Achilles had one weakness, one vulnerability through which he could be defeated. Since his mother held infant Achilles by his heel, that part of his body wasn’t afforded the powers of invincibility granted by magical properties of the river, meaning the back of his foot was the only way through which  the legendary warrior could be slayed.

Achilles ultimately was felled by an arrow — possibly poisoned by Paris — that hit penetrated said heel during a battle in the Trojan War, giving rise to the term “Achilles’ heel” as a means to describe particularly unfortunate weakness.

Of course, Kobe suffered a torn Achilles in the third-to-the-last game of the Lakers’ 2012-13 NBA season, providing for the perfect opportunity to integrate his injury and the legend of Achilles. Only in this depiction of the myth, a Black Mamba — Kobe’s nickname — is doing the damage, not a poison-tipped arrow.

There apparently are five Kobe sculptures floating around Asia, but it is the last one discovered that combines Greek myth and real life into one dazzling piece of sculpture art (via Lakers Nation):

The fifth and last, while smaller in size could be the most intriguing. Measuring 68 x 50 x 50 cm and made of FRP (fiber glass reinforced plastics), it features Kobe raising a basketball high in the air with a giant Black Mamba wrapped around — the head of the snake biting the Achilles. The figure has been in Santa Monica as part of an exhibiton (sic) before, appropiately (sic) named “Achilles” and designed by Roger Huang. It is on display now at the “Conscious 3″ Basketball Art Exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan until August 24.

A few more pics of the impressive work of art.

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Far out, man.