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Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant determined to extend career

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant conceded he is constantly working to try to extend his career after missing his second straight game.

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The five-time NBA champion sat out the Lakers' 113-93 loss to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center to rest and is thought to be a doubt for Friday's meeting with the Dallas Mavericks.

The 36-year-old has enjoyed a glittering career, winning all five of his NBA titles with the Lakers and the MVP award in 2008.

But shooting guard Bryant - a first-round pick by the Lakers in 1996 - admitted that he is always experimenting in an attempt to prolong a career that looks to be heading towards its end.

"It's tough. I'm trying with our team here, our health team, to find new ways of doing it," Bryant said.

"There is really no blueprint for playing this long, at this position at least, in the NBA. So I'm really trying to figure things out and try to see what is out there, to see what works and what doesn't work. So it's about constantly experimenting.

"I felt pretty good, when I was doing the individual workouts and lifting and running, my body felt pretty good. It was just a matter of how it would feel over time.

"Now the challenge for me is really getting my sea legs a little bit and kind of figuring out what spots on the floor I should operate from more consistently.

"It's habit for me to move around and be active offensively all over the place from different spots on the floor but I don't think my body can hold up to that anymore.

"What I try to do is look at things I can control. What I can control is tempo, I can control my spots on the floor, I can control efficiency.

"And a lot of that is breaking habits, because you're used to playing a certain way for so long, now it's time to fine tune that and work around the limitations that I have."

Thursday's defeat dropped the Lakers to 9-20 for the season, and Bulls power forward Pau Gasol - who scored 23 points against the team he left in the close-season - has empathy for his ex team-mates.

"In a way. I know the team is struggling right now, so it's difficult to see them struggle as well," Gasol said.

"But now we move on and the game in LA will probably be a bit more emotional than this one."

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