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Kobe Bryant uncommon way to strengthen his ankles

By James Brown

Kobe Bryant uncommon way to strengthen his ankles

Lakers Legend, Kobe Bryant, used these classes to strengthen his ankles after a 2000 injury.

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Kobe Bryant was one of the biggest competitive players in NBA history. He did almost everything in order to get better at the game, including putting his body through harsh workouts until every muscle in his body responded just as he wanted to. In this case, Kobe decided to take some dancing classes after a bad ankle injury in game 2 of the 2000 Finals. Kobe landed on Jalen Rose’s foot after taking a shot. This made the young star miss almost the entirety of game 2 and all game 3.

Thankfully for the Lakers, Kobe could return for Game 4. "I knew what I could and couldn’t do, which directions I could push off and how much force I could apply. After establishing that, it was just a matter of altering my game within those constraints to continue dominating,” Bryant said in his book, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play. He finished Game 4, playing 47 of a possible 53 minutes and scoring 28 points to help the Lakers beat the Pacers 120-118 in overtime.

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After the season ended, Kobe decided to rehab his ankle but he chose an unorthodox way to do it. "The ankle was so bad that, to be honest, I couldn’t hoop much that summer. What I did do, though, was take up tap dancing. That’s right: tap dancing. That was my worst sprain, but it certainly wasn’t my first. I realized at that point I needed to be proactive about strengthening my ankles”. Commented the five-time NBA champion in ‘Mamba mentality’.

Kobe would go on to win two more championships in the following two years. “After researching the matter, it became apparent that tap dancing was going to be the best way to build up my ankle strength while simultaneously improving my foot speed and rhythm. So, I hired an instructor and started going to the studio. I worked on it all that summer and benefited for the rest of my career." Concluded Kobe in his book.

Kobe Bryant's durability

It seems that the tap classes really helped Kobe. He was one of the most durable as he missed just a total of 122 times due to injury problems  in his 18-year career. His most serious injury came at the end of his career when he fractured his knee. It made him lose over 40 games and it was probably a reason why he ended up retiring.


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