Gilbert Arenas Reveals How Watching Kobe Bryant Practice Helped Him to Counter the Lakers Legend

Published 11/10/2021, 11:30 AM EST
Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant goes for the basket while a Houston Rockets player tugs at his jersey during their game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Lakers won 88–79 (Photo by Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


There are reasons why some players are called legendary. Those who live through their careers day by day, without putting in that extra effort, going that extra mile, never achieve the level of greatness. But if there is someone who is the epitome of determination, focus, and hard work, it has to be Kobe Bryant. However, there is also another NBA player who found his way around the Lakers legend.

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From 2004 to 2007, Gilbert Arenas was a bonafide superstar playing for the Washington Wizards. Not only did he make it to the ALl-Star game each time in the span, he also earned nicknames like ‘Agent Zero’ and ‘No-Chill Gil’. He was, without a doubt, at the peak of his career and establishing himself as one of the best scorers.

But even then, figuring out a way around Kobe isn’t anybody’s piece of cake. But did Arenas really find a way to tackle him on the court? He thinks he did.

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Gilbert Arenas closely watched Kobe Bryant practice

Back in the day, when Arenas heard that Kobe always practiced at 3 or 3:30 before each game, the guard was tempted to watch. He revealed, “So, I took a cab, went to the game. Sure enough, at 3:45, Kobe walks in.” Arenas was about to be kicked out because nobody recognized him much at the time, but once they did, he was able to sit through Bryant’s practice session.

“So, I am just watching how he went before games. Like hard! 300, 400 makes. I mean intensity, full sweat. And I am like, ‘Okay, that’s how you prepare before the game’. Watching what he does, watching his rhythm, I always have success against him.”

However, Arenas confessed that finding an answer to some of Kobe’s weaknesses was also something that didn’t always work. This is because he knew how to adapt very well and would instantly switch and play a different way.

WATCH THIS STORY: Kobe Bryant’s Best Lakers Teammates Featuring Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol

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Is that how he was able to drop 60 on Kobe and the Lakers?

Gilbert Arenas really outdid himself while playing the Los Angeles Lakers on December 2017, 2006. The Washington Wizards guard was able to extend the game to overtime, eventually securing a 147-141 win.

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At the time, he set the franchise record by scoring 60 points, 15 more than that of Kobe’s. In fact, that wasn’t the only record he set. Scoring 16 of his 60 points in overtime, also became a record which Stephen Curry eventually broke in 2016. Unfortunately, this was the most he was ever able to score. But at least it happened against one of the legends.

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Yashima Bhatia

1727 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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