More on Kobe: Dog poop, not Colorado, haunts him

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Highlights from the February/March issue of Complex magazine that arrives on newstands next Tuesday:

== On his past regrets:
“I wouldn’t have been as nave. I would’ve paid more attention to what was going on. I never read the press, never watched TV. The only thing that mattered to me was playing the game, and I was kind of oblivious to everything else that was going on outside of that.”

== On whether it matters now to read the press:
“Well, it does from the standpoint of making sure that your image is what you are, you know what I mean? Because that’s something that I take stock in and that I care about. So from the standpoint of making sure you have a team around you that supports you, making sure that if somebody doesn’t like you they don’t like you, and not what they say you are. That’s something I’ve had to adjust to.”

==On the one private failure that keeps him up at night:
“Dogshi**? Like, I hate dogsh**. I have a dog and I do not clean the crap outside. It’s a phobia. It drives me crazy. You wake up in the morning and you think, Damn, this big ‘ol German shepherd probably just took a crap outside in the yard, and I gotta wake up and go pick it up. That is something that keeps me tossin’ and turnin.’ Does that qualify?

==Does that make you a neat freak?:
“Not necessarily. I just don’t like dogsh**. But the thing that really keeps you up at night all the time, my wife as well, is our kids. It’s always you thinking, Are you raising ’em the right way? How are they doing?”

==On the NBA dance squads:
“You have to take that up with ownership. One thing I will say about it, though, is the music — at least in our arena. We just played in Washington, and Big Tigger was the DJ, and it was rockin’. Our games, you walk in, it’s like 1980s, ’cause they’re playin’ Cyndi Lauper and all this other kind of corny stuff. And my kids can’t move to that at all. The music needs to be upgraded. Severely.”

==On the one good deed that he did during his career that posed a challenge:
“Since we’re talking about perception, I’ve been with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for years, ever since I came in the league. There was one wish in particular, I can’t remember what season it was, but before the game, I asked the kid, ‘Is there anything you want to see?’ Because he likes dunks, he was like, ‘If you get a chance, do a 360 for me!’ I was like, ‘Aight, cool, I’ll try–if I get a chance to, I’ma do it.’ We were playing Portland, it was a close game–so I catch the ball, I’m kinda in traffic, but the opportunity was there, so I went and did a 360, and I made it, right? And after the game, it was ‘Showboat,’ ‘He’s a flashy guy,’ ‘All he cares about is…’ Just this, that and the other.”

==On the thing that hurts when he gets up in the morning:
“Aw, ankles. Ankles are the worst, man. Lemme explain something to you. When you get old–older, you get plantar fasciitis. You ever have plantar fasciitis? It’s painful, man. It’s from a lot of wear and tear on it. The shoes are a help because it’s soft and cushiony. But when you get up in the morning, or you go to take your 3 a.m. piss, you gotta [gets up and pantomimes] you gotta kinda stretch it out a bit. Then after about four steps, it goes away. But when you first get outta bed? Pins and needles, man.”

==On designing his new Zoom Kobe IV sneaker by Nike:
“So I sit down with the Nike team, and the main designer in particular–his name is Eric Avar, and he’s absolutely brilliant. He and I just sit down and vibe out. I throw a lot of stuff at him, stuff that might seem impossible, but then they go in the [Innovation Kitchen] and they come up with it. the thing with this shoe, I wanted it to be lighter, I wanted it to be quicker, I wanted it to be sleeker, and I wanted it to play close to the floor. Sometimes a lot of shoes have too much support, too much cushion in ’em, and you can’t feel the floor beneath you when you’re cutting and making moves.”

==On controlling his anger on the court:
“Sometimes I get angry, but I try to stay neutral. That’s the key. I mean, you can show a burst of emotion, ’cause sometimes that inspires your team; it can inspire you sometimes, too. But for the most part, I try to stay on an even keel, because that’s when you perform your best.”

==On whether that emotion is a way to provoke a reaction from his teammates:
“You just play the game. We’ve been together for a long time, so I know what motivates Lamar Odom, what motivates Sasha Vujacic or Paul Gasol. ‘Cause I’ve been around them so much. So from that standpoint, it kinda becomes instinctive because you’re around these guys all the time. They become your brothers.”

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