Kobe Bryant Calls Los Angeles Lakers ‘Soft Like Charmin’

Pat yourself on the back if you had Dec. 11 as the day Kobe Bryant's frustration with the Los Angeles Lakers would reach its boiling point.

Bryant, fed up with a 6-16 record, his team's league-worst defense and, apparently, a rotten day of practice, lashed out, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

Now, to be fair, Kobe may not have been completely serious in his comments.

And as the dust has settled on what seemed like a sensational story at first, it appears initial reports oversold the intensity of Bryant's words. As the video above and Bryant's subsequent explanation show, what really happened was a bout of intense trash talk.

Per Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com, Kobe explained:

No, I was just being myself. I don't know if it helps them, but it obviously raises the intensity level. It was a tough practice for them...It's really good for Nick, aside from the fun of bantering back and forth and the trash talk, just fundamentally some of the techniques and things that I use. He gets a chance to really see up close those little tricks.

Despite the tone, the message came from the heart.

Bryant's outburst is equal parts futile, understandable and predictable.

It's futile because the Lakers don't have the talent to compete on either end, and no amount of prodding from Kobe or head coach Byron Scott can change that.

It remains to be seen if toilet paper companies piling on will have an impact.

I kind of doubt it.

It's understandable because Bryant has been pushing himself far past the point any 36-year-old NBA player should. While there's no denying Kobe's efforts as a one-man wrecking crew have marginalized his teammates and may even be the reason they've been so punchless, it's also true that he's killing himself on a nightly basis trying to keep his team a...

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