Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant Dishes on What Shapes His Practice Routine

EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles during Lakers media day at the Lakers training facility on September 29, 2009 in El Segundo, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 1, 2013

With 16 NBA seasons and five championships already to his credit, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant isn't spending his practice time doing too much addition.

Over 1,200 career regular season games and 31,000 points have given him a pretty clear indication of his strengths.

That's not to say practices lack positive meaning for him. But, as he told ESPNLosAngeles.com scribe Dave McMenamin, the sessions are more about fine-tuning, rather than redefining his style of play.

"I just know my game," Bryant said after practice this week. "I know what I do. I know my moves and I just work on them. There’s certain things that I have that are consistent, no matter who I match up against. Certain things are my bread and butter that I just stick with on a constant basis, just try to keep them sharp." 

With so much impressive tape from his career, I think we've all got a pretty good idea of his moves. But there's no better source to confirm our beliefs than the former MVP himself.

As part of Nike Basketball's Signature Moves series, Bryant broke down four of his go-to moves: a pull-up jumper off the drive, a reverse layup, a pump fake and spinning pivot and a pull-up jumper off of a jab step.

What makes him one of the toughest covers in the league is the fact that he starts all four of these moves (and others not seen in this clip) in the same manner. He catches the ball and quickly moves to the triple threat position. A quick jab step moves the defender back, and then Bryant has a host of options to choose from depending on the defense's next step.

And it's not only his reading of the defense that helps determine his plan of attack, it's also the countless of hours of film study that lets him know what the defender will do before he even moves.

That doesn't just translate to the 48 minutes of game time, but it also dictates his focus on the practice floor. He said his approach to practice sessions depends on his next matchup. "If you go against good defensive players," he said, "you have to adjust some things, tweak some things and add some things."

Given his results so far, it's hard to question how much he can really be adding at this point.

Then again, it's even harder to question the way he hones his craft.

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