Kobe Bryant's smile widened. The Lakers star then placed his hand on his head and winced.
His facial expressions suggested he was watching a home video of his childhood past. But as he appeared Friday on Ellen," Bryant actually saw Ellen DeGeneres' previous interview with Dwight Howard. There, the Lakers center recalled a conversation where he told Bryant he's making progress on his back rehab.
"That's good," Howard said in Bryant's scowling voice. "I need you at 100%. Trying to win a ring. Talk to you later. Bye."
Bryant busted out laughing, and then called Howard a "good dude." But Bryant hardly dwelled too much on Howard's imitation. Instead, the Black Mamba oozed enthusiasm on what Superman's arrival means on the court.
"Very excited," Bryant said. "He's one of the most dominant defensive players the game has ever seen. We add him to the talent that we have. It's going to be exciting. I'm really looking forward to it."
Bryant also was playful on "Ellen." He came out dancing a bit to "California Love," the famed rap song from 2Pac and Dr. Dre. Bryant joked he brought his two Olympic gold medals to DeGeneres as a gift. Bryant also detailed extensively how President Obama talks trash when they played basketball together.
"If he makes a nice move, you catch yourself thinking, 'I'm going to steal the ball from him," Bryant said. "Then I start looking around looking for the CIA. I'm thinking I should just let him go."
But Bryant also seemed businesslike.
He reiterated his doubts he'd play in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Bryant considered it an "honor" he has played his entire 16-year NBA career with the Lakers. He called himself "lucky" for winning five NBA championships and becoming the organization's all-time leading scorer.
Judging on their appearances on "Ellen" alone, it's clear Bryant and Howard have different personalities. But it's clear those traits could complement each other well.
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