Skip to main content

"You get so tired, you see spots; you're blacking out" — Kobe's Blackout Workout

Kobe-Bryant-Caron-Butler-min (1)

In Caron Butler's two years with the Heat, Pat Riley served as a measuring stick for hard work. But despite his militaristic, philosophical approach to the game, Riley, who coached Butler throughout his rookie campaign, could do nothing but theorize about what it takes to achieve greatness. What Caron needed was someone to put the theory into practice.

I'm listening to Pat Riley all the time talking about disposition, your mentality, and your work ethic and all this stuff and I'm like, 'Damn, okay I got it, I got it.' But I was like, 'That sh*t is impossible to do. You can't go that hard all the time.'

Caron Butler, The Long Shot Podcast with Duncan Robinson and Davis Reid

Then on July 14, 2004, Butler got traded to the Lakers in a deal that sent Shaquille O'Neal to the Miami Heat. The next day, Kobe Bryant, who the Lakers decided to build their team around post the Shaq-Kobe era, inked a 7-year, $136 million contract, imposing himself as an undeniable franchise cornerstone. And he wasted no time showing that to the new guy.

The second he signed it, he's like,'You're ready to fuc*ing blackout?' And I was like, 'What is the blackout?' He's like, 'We're about to fuc*ing blackout. Be here at 7 am tomorrow.'

Caron Butler, The Long Shot Podcast with Duncan Robinson and Davis Reid

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The next day, both Kobe and Caron were at the gym at 7 am, and the Lakers superstar showed Butler what a blackout workout was. "It was like you're getting your reps in, you're getting your 50 shots from each spot, 100 makes off the move, you're getting all this sh*t," Caron said. "Then you get so tired, you see spots; you're blacking out. That was a blackout."

In his two years in Miami, with one of the greatest head coaches in NBA history, the 6'7'' small forward got the hang of how much effort it takes to make it in the best basketball league in the world. But he was never able to force himself into that mindset. Kobe did it with a single practice. But he was far from over.

After that first workout, you go get you something to eat and take about three or four hours to yourself. Then you come back, and you black out again. And we did this literally from - free agency was the first week of July - we did that sh*t all the way to training camp.

Caron Butler, The Long Shot Podcast with Duncan Robinson and Davis Reid

Everything Butler experienced alongside Kobe after that summer pointed to one conclusion - that dude was different. And it goes way beyond the stories we've already heard and the ones that are yet to be told. Just being around a guy like that, seeing how he approaches the game, Caron described as inspiring, and just what the doctor ordered for a young guy ready to make a name for himself in the NBA.

Hundreds of blackout workouts later, that's exactly what he's accomplished, just like so many others who looked to Kobe for inspiration. Butler was one of the lucky ones who did it with Bryant his side.

Allen Iverson created his own path to the NBA that many players after him have looked to follow

'I'm a Sixer for life' - Allen Iverson doesn't understand why the Sixers won't consider giving him a role in the organization

Allen Iverson wanted to help the Sixers but is wondering why nothing has materialized yet to this day.

Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar

“It's not a hard shot to learn” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explains why no player in NBA history has perfected the skyhook

It might not have been passed to one generation after another, but that proves that only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar perfected one of the most iconic signature moves in the history of the sport.

North Carolina Tar Heels former guard Michael Jordan and former head coach Dean Smith

“It was Coach [Dean] Smith's call” — Michael Jordan opens up about what convinced him to declare for the NBA Draft

Michael Jordan's college coach Dean Smith was the one who pushed him to forego his senior year in North Carolina.

Los Angeles Lakers center Vlade Divac

“He enjoyed smoking cigarettes more than shooting free throws in practice” — Vlade Divac was called out for his smoking addiction during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers

While Divac's smoking addiction might've earned him a spot on the Lakers roster, it also certainly rubbed his teammates the wrong way.

Washington Wizards guard Michael Jordan

“One of the bad decisions I made was to go back and play” — Michael Jordan on why he regrets coming back to play for the Washington Wizards

MJ thought he was ”being innovative in my job by going down and evaluating the talent firsthand.” It was the exact opposite.

Matt Barnes on the Ime Udoka suspension - “This situation in Boston is deep, messy and 100 times uglier than any of us thought”

Matt Barnes on the Ime Udoka suspension -“This situation in Boston is deep, messy and 100 times uglier than any of us thought”

Barnes said he got the full scoop of the Udoka situation. and says that the story is deeper and uglier than he was made to believe, although he wouldn't divulge the details of the story