Lakers say Kobe Bryant tweeting on his own
by David Leon Moore, USA TODAY Sports
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Kobe Bryant’s 15th career tweet was a beauty.
Responding to a New York Daily News report Monday that Bryant and Dwight Howard almost came to blows in the locker room after a New Year’s Day loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Bryant posted a picture of him and Howard in a staged boxing pose in the training room.
Between them is Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, lying on a training table while trying to keep them apart.
“The mamba vs d12 !! It’s on lol” tweeted Bryant, along with a link to the photo.
This was Bryant’s way of laughing off a report that all the Lakers said isn’t true.
And it was new territory for Bryant, who posted his first tweet ever on Friday. On his fourth day on Twitter, he already had more than 588,000 followers.
That amounted to almost 40,000 followers for each of Bryant’s tweets, none of which addressed what Lakers fans most want to know: when this team with four potential Hall of Famers will actually have a winning record.
His first tweet was Friday: “The antisocial has become social #mambatweets”
In subsequent tweets, he mixed in a couple of personal items – birthday congratulations for a niece, a photo of a sunset, a retweet of a Jay-Z item, good luck wishes to @raylewis – with seeming plugs for his work ethic or his Lakers career in general.
Why now? Is this some sort of marketing ploy by the Lakers, who are suddenly the second-best team in L.A., 11 games behind the Clippers in the Pacific Division?
Lakers public relations director John Black said the team had nothing to do with Bryant joining up, and Bryant said Monday that he just felt it was time he got more social.
“I think it’s a fun platform to be a part of where you don’t have any filter,” he said. “You can respond to fans and communicate with them directly.