HOUSTON — Sorry,
When he sent out a cryptic Twitter dispatch on Tuesday with "blackout" and "bearhunt" phrases, the latter set off Lakers fans, Bryant interpreters, Bigfoot enthusiasts and Loch Ness trackers who thought it was code for Bryant's return against the Memphis Grizzlies next Friday.
Bryant's response in his weekly talk with reporters? Try again.
He acknowledged that "blackout" was a strenuous workout and politely shot down optimists who came up with the glass-half-full interpretation of "bearhunt."
He didn't exactly describe what it meant, but it probably referred to his emotional Facebook post after he sustained a torn Achilles' tendon in April. Bryant quoted a Jay Z lyric that day, "If you see me in a fight with a bear, [pray] for the bear."
It goes along with Bryant's enduring a second consecutive week of solid conditioning.
"I've been pushing pretty hard," Bryant said Thursday, declining to provide a specific timetable for his return. "The hardest thing is the conditioning, getting back and playing at a high level."
Bryant said he felt no pain but was "not quite" doing lateral movement.
"I've got to really get down being comfortable and feeling strong, working through the fatigue first of running straight forward," he said. "Once that's there, the muscle endurance is there, then you start doing more lateral things."
Chris Kaman was busy. Couldn't be bothered.
He was playing a hunting game on his phone and wanted reporters to wait a few seconds until he was done with "Deer Hunter" after the Lakers' shoot-around Thursday morning.
An avid hunter and outdoorsman, Kaman took the starting spot of
"Obviously, it's a big lineup we're playing [against]," Kaman said beforehand. He had six points and 10 rebounds in the Lakers' 99-98 victory against Houston.
His promotion marked yet another lineup change this season. Small forward
Nash probably out
There will probably be another lineup change Friday, though this one is planned.
Steve Nash is expected to sit out against New Orleans because it's the Lakers' second game in consecutive nights. D'Antoni wants to rest Nash in those situations to keep the 39-year-old as fresh as possible.