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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant Turns It Up As The Playoffs Draw Closer

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

“He’s obviously turned it up. He looks as good as he’s ever looked.” Steve Nash told the Los Angeles Times.

On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Atlanta Hawks to finally hit .500. Although the Lakers are improving as a collective group, Kobe Bryant‘s legendary work ethic is a huge factor in the Lakers’ slow and steady turn around.

The Black Mamba, aka The Vino, aka Kobe Bryant turned it on to help pull the Lakers within 2.5 wins of a playoff spot.

The Mamba’s got those Grant Hill genetics.

Nash reveals that Bryant told the team in the locker room that he was unhappy with his current shooting percentages, “He would say sometimes after games he was shooting bricks.” However, since returning to Los Angeles from the 2012 London Olympics, Bryant’s age and 17 NBA seasons are becoming less and less of an issue for The Vino.

Professional athletic trainer Robert Alert recently shared a story on Reddit about his experience training Bryant for the summer Olympics. Alert explains that Bryant called him at 4:30 a.m. Alert met Bryant at the gym and trained him for two hours. He left and returned to the gym at 11 a.m to find that Bryant hadn’t even left yet. Then, Bryant participated in team USA’s first scrimmage.

Bryant told Sports Illustrated that he guarantees the Lakers will make the playoffs. As the playoffs draw closer, he continues to play harder to make sure that he makes good on his word.

Bryant told ESPN:

“There’s a certain commitment, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of attention to detail that goes into trying to play at a high level for a long, long time,” he said. “After so many years, it becomes easy to lose focus. Some guys lose focus from game to game. I take it as a challenge to try to be focused for many, many years.”