Friday , Mar , 05 , 2010 Andrew Flint

Kobe Alters Pre-Game Routine to Kill Shooting Slump

More than 2 1/2 hours before tip-off Thursday, Bryant strayed from his usual pregame routine. Normally, Bryant doesn’t touch a basketball on the court until the team emerges from the locker room 20 minutes before tipoff. Instead, he went through an extensive shooting exercise with Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person on the American Airlines Arena floor.

As Mötley Crüe’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” blasted over the P.A. system Bryant silently took shot after shot, mixing in drives to the lane he finished with pull-up jumpers and straight-up catch-and-shoot attempts from spots all around the perimeter, playing a personal game of around the world.

His diamond earring glittered red, reflecting the color of the Heat logo being shown on the video screens around the arena, but his right arm shined even brighter as he rolled up his already sleeveless shirt to leave the arm free as it became drenched in sweat by repeating the same machine-like elbow-in, wrist-snapped, arm-reaching-toward-the-roof motion.