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Kobe being Kobe

Don't be surprised as Lakers improve; Bryant still a driving force

Updated: December 7, 2012, 10:58 AM ET
By Johnette Howard | ESPN.com

The drifting Mike Brown era abruptly ended five games into this season after a Kobe Bryant death stare set off alarms. His surprise replacement, Mike D'Antoni? He arrived after Bryant assured reporters that as much as he yearned for one last ride with Phil Jackson, he did not tell Lakers management that D'Antoni was a "no go." As if that settled that.

Just Wednesday, Bryant got into a first-quarter shouting match with fellow superstar Dwight Howard over a missed defensive rotation ...

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