Blake Griffin needs to know if the story is true. Ever since he first heard it last July, he’s been obsessed with it.
“The first night we all got into Las Vegas last summer for the USA Basketball camp, I heard Kobe went on some 40-mile bike ride at night through the desert,” Griffin says. “Forty miles? At night? You think it’s true?”
Before I can answer, Griffin continues:
“When I found out about that bike ride, I was so tempted to ask him if I could go next time.”
This is my favorite part about Kobe: you assume this story is true. Forty miles in the desert? You don’t even question it.
…in this moment, all Griffin wants to talk about is whether or not Kobe Bryant really got on a bike and rode 40 miles through the desert last July.
“I love that stuff,” Griffin says. “I love all those stories.”
The story Griffin heard turns out to be true. And it goes something like this: Bryant told his longtime trainer, Tim Grover, that he wanted to add in bike training to his summer conditioning. Grover researched a trail in Las Vegas, rented three bikes — one for Bryant, one for himself and one for Bryant’s security guard — and on the night before the first day of practice, they each put on headlamps and headed out to the trail and rode.
“We finished up around 2 a.m.” Grover said. “And we were back in the gym working out by 7:30 in the morning.”
And that’s just it. To Blake Griffin, and most of the NBA, these are just stories.