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Kobe plays down his post-game workout in Miami

Mar 11, 2011, 11:09 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat Getty Images

“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.

  1. hnirobert3 - Mar 11, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    I honestly don’t think either team has a good shot to get to the Finals this year (the Lakers are more likely to get there than the Heat), but a Lakers/Heat Finals would break all time ratings records. Old school vs. New school. Kobe vs. Lebron and Wade. Jackson vs. Riles.

  2. evh12345 - Mar 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    The article was not about if they’ll meet again in the Finals. The article was about the tireless work ethic of one of the greatest players to every play the sport. While Lebron was out celebrating with his 20 man entourage, Kobe was shooting jumpers in an empty gym with three ball boys. Physical gifts will only take Lebron so far. Work ethic is what carries you the rest of the way.

    • dolphinphan - Mar 11, 2011 at 3:28 PM

      i wonder if kobe would have been shooting had the lakers won. evh12345, you sit on your computer and act as if you know their work ethics. sure kobe was shooting around, and people admire that, but i wonder if he did it for attention, i mean he did happen to sit and take questions from media after the game, and after his shootaround. seems like he was doing it for the attention.

      • evh12345 - Mar 11, 2011 at 4:46 PM

        Dolphin- Kobe’s work ethic is well known in the league. Players, coaches, journalist, and fans are all aware of his competitive nature/drive and how hard he works. But let’s say for a second that he was shooting around “just for attention”, fact remains he’s on Lebron’s court, after hours, shooter jumpers to make his game better.

        A great article you should read: http://deadspin.com/#!5598719/read-espns-spiked-story-about-lebron-among-the-naked-ladies-in-vegas

        ESPN had a reporter follow Lebron around Vegas. It’s a pretty intimate profile of a complete prick. Lebron’s people made ESPN take it down after about an hour.

  3. chargerdillon - Mar 11, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    The Finals big-money matchup will always be the Lakers and Celtics. The number of championships each club has pretty much dictates that, as well as the history of what a Lakers-Celtics finals did ratingswise last year.

    If the NBA really wants a Heat vs Lakers final, i wouldnt be so surprised if thats what we get. The NBA likes it’s product to go 7 games, and anybody who thinks the refs dont help that happen more often than not, really havent been paying attention……EVER

    • hnirobert3 - Mar 11, 2011 at 2:24 PM

      Maybe, but numbers don’t lie. The ratings say that the Heat are the hot thing in the NBA right now because of contaminated LBJ’s image is.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/5161/heat-business-is-booming

  4. rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 11, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    You have to be a dum dum to believe Mamba was looking for attention, maybe he
    was sending his team a message.The man has 5 ring’s I don’t think he wants for
    motivation.

  5. rickmirer - Mar 12, 2011 at 7:52 AM

    Dum dum? I love it! Don’t be a dum dum!

  6. d2o2s6r6 - Mar 12, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    @ evh12345
    The question is would Kobe have worked out if they won. We all no the answer to that. To compare the two individuals is an injustice basically because of the ages and there personalities. Any basketball junkie knows that Kobe goes the extra mile and could never question his work ethics or his dedication to the game. But to just throw LB under the bus because they just stopped the bleeding of a 5 game losing streak, c’mon son. Can you give me a better reason for this young man to celebrate.

    Kobe is married, older and more settled with family life. He has been in the league longer and been there done that. LB is still soaring his oats and enjoying life after a big win for the second time over the two time defending champs. Cut the guy some slack will you……IJS…….

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