Kobe, Nash May Find Key to Season in Workout Regimen Neither Has Tried Before

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — As if Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash don't already sense it, Derek Jeter brought that end of the tunnel into focus.

"The most touching moment for me was watching him walk off the field and walk through the tunnel and head back to the locker room," Bryant said. "That was the last time that's going to happen. You just try to put yourself in that position and imagine what that would feel like.   

"Even though, ethically, hitting the game-winning single seems to be the most touching thing, for me it was the quiet of walking off the field. That was most moving."

Bryant, 36, has two more years under contract before he determines if he's ready to retire. Nash, 40, has already made the commitment that this will be it.

"With a little bit of luck," Nash said, "maybe I'll get to play a ton this year and have a great close to my career."

Both 1996 draftees are healthy, which might mean nothing more than the bombs are ticking and not yet detonated. Bryant and Nash didn't play a single game together in their second season as Lakers teammates, and how many they play together this season will be determined by how much they ignore the instincts that have made them all-time greats.

They simply cannot push their limits anymore.

Both felt well enough all offseason to undertake consistent, effective workout routines—the sort of things they've done long before it was in vogue. When the Lakers' first practice ended Tuesday, with Bryant and Nash sitting out the final fourth of the session, per Byron Scott's instructions, Lakers trainer Gary Vitti lectured the players on the three keys to recovering from Scott's debut that Bryant called "the most running I've ever done in an NBA practice."

The talking points were ice-water immersion, proper nutrition and good sleep. Bryant and Nash could teach classes on that stuff as well as Vitti, as both...

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