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Saturday, January 18, 2014
Notebook: Kobe's cursing compliment

By Chris Forsberg

BOSTON -- Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant knows what it's like to be a ring-wearing, injury-rehabbing player on a rebuilding team, so he knows what Rajon Rondo is enduring, both while returning to game action and navigating this murky transition process.

"It’s frustrating," said Bryant. "But from what I understand, he’s an a------ like me, so I think he’ll manage."

Apprised of Bryant's remarks, Rondo noted, "That’s a great compliment coming from Kobe. I feel the same way about him."

Bryant is traveling with the Lakers and had a front-row seat as some less familiar names unleashed a 3-point barrage that helped the Lakers spoil Rondo's 2013-14 debut as part of a 107-104 triumph Friday night at TD Garden.

Bryant, who is battling a knee fracture after working his way back from an Achilles tear, said it was nice to see Rondo getting back on the court.

"It’s never good to have one of the top players in the league go down," said Bryant. "We all know the excitement that he brings. Some of the numbers that he puts up are staggering numbers. It’s good to have him back on the floor."

Rondo finished with eight points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals and a turnover during 19 minutes, 25 seconds of floor time in Friday's loss. He looked rusty early, battled his wind later and his night culminated with a missed 3-pointer with a chance to force overtime.

Bryant is well aware of the obstacles Rondo will face in getting acclimated.

"Rhythm is always the biggest adjustment, just getting your game legs back," said Bryant. "It’s one thing to train and to run and to do what you have to do, but when you step on that basketball court, to play at game speed is a little different."

Bryant will have his ailing left knee re-evaluated in February but said the Lakers' struggles won't dictate when he returns to action. He's making the most of his free time, dropping into classes at Boston College on Thursday evening after the Lakers arrived into town.

"It’s interesting, because, obviously, I’ve been doing a lot of international marketing the past 15 years," explained Bryant. "So to actually sit in a classroom and hear the terminology, the proper terminology, from the things that I’ve been doing, it’s pretty cool."

Some additional notes after the Lakers rallied late to top the Celtics: