Mar 11, 2011, 11:09 AM EDT
“It’s my job,” he said. “You’ve got to work at it.”
Vintage Kobe Bryant quote to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register that sums up why he was shooting baskets in AmericanAirlines Arena two hours after the Lakers had lost to the Heat. A game where Kobe faltered — he shot 2-of-11 in the second half, forced some shots and got stripped by Dwyane Wade late in the game. Those kind of things eat at Kobe more than most players.
Kobe has athletic gifts, make no mistake. But what separates him has always been his drive and competitiveness. This workout was simply an extension of that. Let Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo explain.
Hours later, when asked about his motivation in a text message, Bryant responded with the words of Achilles: “I want what all men want. I just want it more.”
You can say this was a message to the Heat that if they meet again — and that may not happen as both teams have formidable obstacles between them and the matchup ABC television executives want for the NBA finals — but after the workout Kobe played it down.
“Just trying to get better, that’s all,” Bryant said…
He was light-hearted after his extra workout session with three ball boys passing to him and rebounding for him, not angry or frustrated. He did allow that he was thinking about the loss but said it was more a big-picture thing: “It’s really not a big deal to me. Just working on different things. Just gotta keep on doin’ it….
“It’s good to get one (workout) in tonight and get some rest,” Bryant said. “Have a good day of travel tomorrow and be ready Saturday (vs. Dallas).”
Saturday is another big game for the Lakers where Kobe may be asked to make big plays down the stretch. He may falter again. But it will not be for lack of preparation.
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