Pietrus changes shoes for Finals

Updated: June 3, 2009, 5:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Orlando Magic guard Mickael Pietrus has been in Kobe Bryant's shoes this season. But now that he'll have to help defend the Lakers star in the NBA Finals, he's getting out.

Pietrus, a shooting guard who also helped defend LeBron James in the Eastern Conference finals, has worn a pair of basketball sneakers endorsed by Bryant during games this season, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

But now that the Magic are facing the Lakers in the NBA Finals, which start Thursday (ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET), Pietrus is ditching his Kobe kicks for something a little more old-school, according to the report.

"I have [Kobe shoes] at my house, but I'm going to play with Michael Jordan shoes," Pietrus said, the newspaper reported.

No matter which pair of shoes Pietrus wears, slowing down Kobe is going to be a tough assignment, Pietrus acknowledged, according to the report.

"The only thing I can do is try to minimize his touches in the fourth quarter," Pietrus said, according to the Sentinel. "He's a tremendous player and those guys you cannot stop them. So maybe I can say, 'Hey, stop, Kobe! Yo! Stop!' Maybe that's the only way I can stop him. 'Stop for a minute!'"