He was mad. Furious about the Lakers‘ poor late-game execution (mostly his own), a perceived lack of calls from the refs down the stretch, and the sting of having lost to the Miami Heat both times this season, during enormously hyped national TV games.
So Kobe Bryant did what he always does: he went to work.
Bean met with reporters following the game last night, and then went back out on the court to shoot jumpers for more than an hour, as bewildered Heat ball boys rebounded for him, and reporters looked on in disbelief and breathlessly updated the rest of us through Twitter late into the evening.
With his gray shirt soaked from top to bottom with sweat, Bryant finished up just after midnight Eastern time … and said he was headed to the weight room. “Just trying to get better, that’s all,” Bryant said.
“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).” Bryant estimated that he has done this postgame road shooting a couple of times before, guessing that the most recent was in the 2004 NBA playoffs. “It’s my job,” he said. “You’ve got to work at it.”
The legend of Kobe Bryant has largely been built on his relentless and maniacal work ethic, which has netted him 5 championship rings. It has also been built on a certain level of inimitable weirdness.
Last night’s workout following a tough 40 minutes of NBA basketball captured those two Kobe Bryant traits perfectly.