The Secret Weapon in Kobe Bryant’s Arsenal? Chuck ‘The Rifleman’ Person

Monday night, the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant, led the Los Angeles Lakers in the Game One demolition of the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals by scoring 40 points and controlling the entire game.


Phoenix had no answer.  


While everyone focused the week leading up to the game on the condition of Kobe’s knee, it is another injury that has plagued him all season and is almost mind-boggling that he continues to play: His broken index finger on his right shooting hand.  


Really. Think about that.


Break a finger on your shooting hand and you still play. Not quite. No, you don’t still play but continue to dominate. What few fans realize is that Kobe had to reconstruct his shooting touch immediately following the injury.


Now, everyone has a faint idea that Kobe is a hard worker, a self-proclaimed gym rat.  Even the week between the Utah Jazz sweep and the opening of the Phoenix series, Kobe still hit the gym and hit it hard.


It was just that he didn’t participate in scrimmages or much team practice time because of the swollen knee. Instead, he worked out in the gym lifting weights and out on the court shooting.


One thousand.


That's the number of jumpers Bryant takes in the offseason. To me, there is no denying that Kobe is the hardest working player in the NBA—and there is no coincidence that he is the best player in the NBA as well. He displays the perfect marriage of talent and effort.


The end result is greatness.


But, what happens when a bullet is removed from his chamber as was the case this year when he broke the finger? Most players would simply opt for the sur...

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