L.A. Times: There are few things more important to Kobe Bryant before a game than his portable DVD player.
It goes wherever he goes before tipoff. On the padded table in the trainer’s room. On the floor for a pregame stretching routine. Perched in front of his locker.
The Lakers’ 10-time All-Star stares at his 10-inch screen, watching basketball clips of the players he’ll be guarding.
It is part of his longtime commitment to studying video, one of the foundations of a career still going strong in its 13th season.
The Lakers have had their stars over the last few decades — Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, Shaquille O’Neal — but few have studied game video (or film, as it was called back in the day) more diligently than Bryant, who looks for the slightest advantage while sizing up an opponent.
“Hands down, he’s the biggest video fiend we’ve ever had,” said Chris Bodaken, the Lakers’ director of video services. “I didn’t know if it was possible to be more competitive than Magic was, but I think he might be. It carries over into his preparation, and this is part of that.”
Bodaken, 40, began working in the Lakers’ editing room in 1989 as an intern and is now one of two full-time staffers who use eight digital video recorders, five laptop computers and 18 DVD burners to record, edit and copy footage for Lakers coaches and players.