The Vyper, bone broth, chocolate milk concoction that keeps Kobe going

Kobe Bryant waves to the crowd after being taken out of the game in the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.
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Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has made it no secret that the most difficult part of his 20th and final NBA season is getting his body ready to play on a nightly basis. 

Over the past few seasons, Bryant has dealt with a series of serious injuries that might have had other players seated on the couch long ago rather than suiting up for Sunday’s All-Star Game. For Bryant to prepare his body to play, it literally takes a village of trainers, massage therapists, physical therapists and nutritionists.

In a recent article, Baxter Holmes of ESPN, delved into Bryant’s complex regimen that is designed to keep his body as healthy as possible for his retirement tour season.

Here’s how Holmes describes a portion of that regimen:

It all begins with a dedicated army of physical therapists, massage therapists and trainers that battles daily to keep him upright with methods both high-tech and low-grade. A mini jackhammer known as the Raptor, which came on the market in December 2015, is used to blast through Bryant’s scar tissue at 3,600 percussions per minute, to shake his muscles awake. A vibrating foam roller known as the Vyper, first available in 2014, helps his sore muscles relax. Before every game, a soup made from bone broth rebuilds his battered joint surfaces. After the final buzzer, a low-sugar chocolate milk aids his muscle and tissue recovery. If there’s time before a game or after, Bryant’s Fusionetics therapist, Michael Oviedo, who blends preventative therapy with cutting-edge technology, completes a 10-point range-of-motion assessment, from big toe to shoulder. Using something called a goniometer, Oviedo measures whether Bryant’s ankles bend at least 20 degrees, the optimal target; if they don’t, Oviedo massages the soft tissue around the guard’s ankles and into his calves, relaxing the muscles until he can move as desired. As Oviedo takes measurements, he punches his findings into the Fusionetics app on his iPad, which spits back suggestions on treatment. At every turn, Bryant is stretched, kneaded and evaluated, sometimes by his own neuromuscular therapist, or one of his two chiropractors, or his "active-release" therapist, or one of his several "stretch professionals," or his personal strength and conditioning trainer.

The Lakers are happy to provide Bryant with whatever care he needs. As Holmes explains, it’s not just to make Bryant happy in his final season, but also for the Lakers’ benefit. Bryant provides one of the only real reasons to watch this Lakers team, which sits at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. With a mammoth local television deal in place, the Lakers need eyeballs to stay tuned in.

Here’s how Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak described this all-Kobe-all-the-time season to Holmes:

"Every game, it’s about Kobe. Even when he doesn’t play, it’s about Kobe."

Even when Bryant is nowhere near at the capabilities he once possessed, he remains L.A.’s one and only showstopper. The Lakers will do whatever they can to keep on the court for the next two months.