Kobe made himself available to the press prior to the game, and reporters were mainly focused on two topics: his recovery from injury and his relationship with Howard.
When addressing Howard, Kobe showed the dual nature of his personality. First, he held court with a routine straight out of "Kobe Comedy Jam":
Dishing out crow to both Dwight Howard and the L.A. Clippers is relatively easy for Kobe right now. After all, the up-and-down Lakers have beaten both already during this short season.
Then, he turned serious—and surprisingly effusive—in his praise of Dwight:
Despite all the rancorous chatter from the past year, one never gets the sense that Kobe and Dwight hated each other; they just didn't see eye-to-eye about basketball or personal mission statements. And it annoyed the hell out of each, something they've been quick to share with the world.
Of course, Kobe knows his fans don't want the Mamba talking to the press without a healthy helping of injury updates, and Kobe was happy to oblige:
While some take these updates as "setbacks," keep in mind that Kobe's preseason outlook was so far ahead of schedule, these seeming slowdowns are really just regressions to the norm. He's recovering from a serious injury and doing so as fast as he can.
He even went so far as to help his fans with some weight loss tips, Kobe style:
Laker fans were interested in this cryptic Kobe tweet:
And Kobe helped clear things up:
Black Mamba's resolve is incredible—he's running, eating, pissing and fighting bears with a purpose, like a man possessed. It seems to be only a matter of time before we see him on the court again.
Fortunately, Social Media Era Mamba is allowing us to come along for the ride. In some ways, even while temporarily out of the game, Kobe Bryant has never been more engaging or interesting.