Former Lakers Trainer Reveals How Kobe Bryant’s Half-Time Ritual Was Different From Others

Published 09/22/2021, 9:33 AM EDT
Laker Kobe Bryant sits alone dejected during a final timeout in the Lakers 114–95 loss to the Spurs Wednesday in game 2 of the NBA Western Conference semi–finals at San Antonio. (Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant was an 18-time NBA All-Star and spent his entire career with the Lakers. Widely regarded as one of the greatest ever, Kobe was voted into the Hall of Fame last year. Kobe’s performance on the court is always talked about, but not many acknowledge the hard work he used to put behind.

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Kobe was a dedicated athlete. In fact, when everyone used the halftime breaks to hydrate and check their phones, Kobe used to watch the first half clips. He would then watch the clips on his laptop and check how he could improve in the second half. Kobe spent his entire NBA career with the Lakers.

Gary Vitti, (right) trainer for the Los Angeles Lakers, talks with an exhausted Kobe Bryant, guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, after the Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors in overtime 118-116 at Staples Center on March 8, 2013. (Photo by Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

So, if anyone who knows him well, should be someone who has worked with him for two decades. Who better to take about Kobe than Gary Vitti, long-time Lakers head trainer. Gary Vitti has recently talked about Kobe studying tapes during half-time.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Playing Through Injuries, Motivating His Teammates & Other Kobe Bryant Moments That Define His Mamba Mentality

Gary Vitti talks about Kobe Bryant watching tapes during half-time

Former Los Angeles Lakers head trainer Gary Vitti, who has retired now, recently appeared in the ‘Scoop B Radio‘ podcast. During the podcast, he talked opened up on Kobe Bryant studying tapes during half-time.

“Kobe was in the training room with a laptop looking at cuts in the first half so he could figure out how he could counter it in the second half,” Gary Vitti said on ‘Scoop B Radio’.

Kobe Bryant used to work harder than everyone else. Adding to that, he used to work smarter, utilizing his time. Normally, players use their half-time to hydrate themselves and catch their breath. Some would look at their phones, going through their social media accounts. However, Kobe Bryant used to watch the first half clips. Kobe Bryant has previously credited his insane work ethic and studying of opponents for his success on the court.

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Gary Vitti spent 32 years with the Lakers and has worked with many athletes throughout his career. Vitti was a part of the Lakers team that won eight NBA championships.

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Gary saw different generations of players from the Showtime era to the Kobe era. But Vitti had a special relationship with Kobe and Kobe had credited Vitti for his shaping his career.

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Abhishek Singh

204 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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