It all started when Bryant posted a question on his Twitter feed. The hashtag #Kobe11 was in reference to his shoe line, where star themes often appear.
Who can tell me what a supernova is? #KOBE11
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 11, 2016
One Los Angeles resident who responded happened to be a USC doctor, Rahul Dhawan. He works in the East L.A. community and goes by @ElDoctorRahul on Twitter -- his professional area of expertise is kidney transplants.
@kobebryant A supernova is a rare astronomical event that occurs during the last stellar evolutionary stages of a massive star's life, YOU
— Dr Rahul Dhawan (@ElDoctorRahul) February 11, 2016
Bryant was definitely amused by his answer, which spoke to both a scientific understanding of stars and an awareness of the point Bryant's career has reached.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 12, 2016
Keep up with all the latest Lakers news on their team page.
Kobe Bryant wants to relish his final NBA All-Star game: The noise became louder with every move Kobe Bryant made. He stood up from a press table and groaned. Bryant moved his feet and winced. Bryant then uttered “Oh God,” before stepping from the platform to the ground. He then walked gingerly after sitting for almost 12 minutes. -- Los Angeles Daily News
Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson embracing NBA All-Star weekend: Plenty of their teammates will rest. Their head coach will vacation in Mexico. But for Kobe Bryant, D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, the NBA All-Star break actually just means more work. -- Los Angeles Daily News
What will Kobe Bryant do in his final NBA All-Star game?: As Kobe Bryant's farewell tour alternately limps and lopes into its final lap, the strangest thing is happening. -- Los Angeles Times
Lakers' Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell plan to soak up the All-Star experience: A year ago, Jordan Clarkson’s All-Star weekend was spent in the gym. He proudly watched as his high school number was retired in San Antonio, then he returned to Los Angeles for the first of several workouts with then-Lakers guard Steve Nash. That was when he was just trying to make an impression in the league. -- The Orange County Register
NBA All-Star Game no longer centers around big men: They are big, sometimes burly and almost always a force in the paint. Yet when it comes to All-Star voting, NBA centers are losing their footing. For a third consecutive season, the All-Star Game is light on big men, the result of a change in fan voting rules. No centers cracked the list of the 10 players who will start Sunday in Toronto. -- The Orange County Register
TORONTO -- Voting for the NBA All-Star Game MVP will include Twitter -- using emojis.
Fans can vote for a black snake (Kobe Bryant), a king's crown (LeBron James), or an eyebrow (Anthony Davis).
The NBA announced Thursday that emojis had been created for all 24 players in Sunday's game by using a hashtag and their full name. Beginning in the fourth quarter, fans can vote by using #KiaAllStarMVP and #firstnamelastname in the same tweet. Retweets will count up to 100 times and the fan vote winner will account for 25 percent of the overall vote.
Bryant, nicknamed the Black Mamba, has won the MVP award four times. King James, as the Cleveland superstar is known, has won twice.
Emojis were also created for the TNT crew, including a doughnut for Charles Barkley, who took it in stride.
"That's funny,'' Barkley said. "You can't take yourself too serious.''
TORONTO -- Shaquille O'Neal says he wishes he could have had a farewell tour at the end of his career similar to the one former teammate Kobe Bryant is enjoying now.
O'Neal held court in Toronto before TNT's popular "Inside The NBA" television show Thursday night as the NBA prepared to kick off its All-Star weekend. He reminisced about his time with Bryant, the Lakers star who is retiring at the end of the season.
O'Neal was forced to retire in 2011 at age 37 after tearing his Achilles. He says he would have enjoyed being able to say goodbye to the fans and teams in each city, but he wasn't healthy enough to play the one more season on which he had he planned.
Bryant was voted a starter for the West team for Sunday's game.