Kobe Bryant will do almost anything to gain a competitive advantage, and the super-motivated Los Angeles Lakers star recently revealed that this drive includes looking to the animal kingdom for help with his jump shot.
In an interview with the New York Times, in which Bryant and Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington sat down with reporter Philip Galanes, Bryant said he was looking for ways to improve his balance after struggling with his shot early in his career. Flipping through channels one day he settled on the Discovery Channel, where he watched a cheetah in the hunt:
"When you watch me shoot my fadeaway jumper, you'll notice my leg is always extended. I had problems making that shot in the past. It’s tough. So one day I’m watching the Discovery Channel and see a cheetah hunting. When the cheetah runs, its tail always gives it balance, even if it’s cutting a sharp angle. And that’s when I was like: My leg could be the tail, right?"
The stories of Bryant's work ethic are copious, but this may be the most unique. It's one thing to put in hours upon hours in the gym, it's another to study animals.
The NBA community has had some fun with Bryant's reveal, and CBSSports.com writer Matt Moore created this graphic depicting the change in Bryant's form:
— Eye on Basketball (@EyeOnBasketball) September 28, 2014