He snuck in without notice: Kobe Bryant, five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers and one of the top stars of the best basketball league in the world, visited the new cold chamber in Bayer 04’s modern rehab facility in the BayArena four times during the last few days.
How was the surprise visit arranged? Bryant’s team had been eliminated from the NBA play-offs by Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks. Bryant is now on a PR-tour for a personal sponsor and currently in Dusseldorf. The contact to Bayer 04’s medical department was set up through the club’s partner Zimmer Medizinsysteme. The company had built the new cold chamber during the last two weeks.
The 1.98 metre tall athlete was welcomed by Carsten Rademacher, Head of the Rehab Centre. Bryant spent three times three minutes in the chamber during the different stages. He started off with minus ten degrees Celsius, followed by minus 60 and finally minus 110 degrees.
Wolfgang Holzhäuser: "The rehab facility has a pioneering role"
Bryant was very impressed by the new form of recovery and training preparation: “It is an unbelievably intense feeling.” Moreover, the LA Lakers player acknowledged Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the play-offs: “He is a fantastic player - one of the giants in his sport.”
Bayer 04-Director Wolfgang Holzhäuser presented Bryant with a Bayer 04 shirt with the number 24. Holzhäuser interpreted the reaction of the world star as an indication how good Bayer 04’s medical support is. „We want to offer our players the best possible environment. We are absolutely certain that our rehab facility has a pioneering role.”