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Kobe Bryant Watches Joyous Lakers Teammates, Feels Pain

Look at Kobe Bryant's face as he watches these young Lakers celebrate snapping a seven-game losing streak with a win over the Celtics. That's the face of a disgusted man.

Bryant, who's missing the rest of the season with a torn rotator cuff, was on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, and Kimmel pulled out a clip of Nick Young, Jordan Hill, and Jeremy Lin mugging for the camera and having fun after a win. When the camera cut back to Kobe, he looked like he had just seen video of a gruesome car crash:


Okay, he played up the stone-faced routine for a laugh, but there was a kernel of genuine concern in that look. Without me, the Lakers are complacent. Kobe is fully aware of his age and usefulness—he later talked about the desire to abruptly retire, as he hates the idea of a farewell tour. He merely wants to throw up shots and forget about life after basketball for as long as he can.

In the realm of fluffy interviews for athletes plugging things, this one was interesting. (The segue into Whiplash, a movie about an abusive jazz teacher and his drumming student, was funny and fitting.) Kobe's old enough to answer probing questions gracefully, but he'll never be able to fully conceal his disdain.

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