Kobe Bryant is Mr. MVP
By Ashley B. Howard and Sari Anne Tuschman
Photographs by Marc Baptiste
LAC: There was so much hoopla around him going to Miami, andClevelan d Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s reaction. Do you have any thoughts on that?
KB: Not at all. While all that was going on, I was at a basketball camp for kids in Santa Barbara, so it was kind of tough to shift my attention or whatever. I know [James] personally, and with [the Heat] getting Chris Bosh, I’m just happy for them because they seem happy with the choices they’ve made, so I’m pulling for them to do well.
LAC: Basketball season is so long, and you do so much traveling. When it’s the off-season, do you get time to relax?
KB: Oh yeah, a lot of time. We did a little trip this summer out to Montana and went fly-fishing and kicked back and relaxed, and we weren’t moving around much at all. We have days when we do that; we have trips when we do that. We made the summer schedule so that when I’m doing work, I do it in short bursts, so it’s not a long, dragged out kind of thing. If I have to have a business meeting or a business trip, I knock that out really quick in a couple of days and then I’m back and relaxing—we try not to stretch it out too much.
LAC: Is fly-fishing something you’re into?
KB: I enjoy doing it. I just started this summer, and I had a bunch of trout get away from me.
LAC: Are there any pregame rituals you always do?
KB: I don’t really have a ritual—my ritual is just preparation. There are songs I listen to, artists I listen to: I love Kanye West; I’m a big fan of Drake and Jay-Z obviously, but I don’t really have a ritual. Oh, and Lady Gaga, too.
LAC: When it’s the final moments of a game, you have the ball in your hand and the clock is ticking down, what’s going through your head?
KB: I think before I go out there on the floor—I think about the defense. When I go out there and play, I’m just ready. I know what’s coming before it comes, and then it’s a matter of making the shot or making the right play.
LAC: Your dad hadn’t seen you play in person for five years, and he came to last season’s playoffs. Tell us what that meant to you.
KB: It was cool. He got to watch me play and see me do what I do now—in my prime.
Styling by Paige Geran
Grooming by Mark Graham for Hair Architects