Following a layoff of nearly two weeks while recovering from a lower-leg contusion, Kobe Bryant returned to practice Sunday and a couple of teammates made the mistake of firing him up by talking a little trash.

We’ve seen Kobe loudly get after his guys during training sessions in the past—this time around, he calmly gave them buckets instead of calling them “soft like Charmin.”

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott remains confident that Bryant will suit up in Wednesday’s regular season opener against the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves.

From the team website:

Well, actually, it was loud on the part of an unnamed player on the white team during 5-on-5 scrimmaging, who talked a bit of trash to the 17-time all-star on the purple team at Sunday’s practice. […] “That was the wrong thing to do,” Metta World Peace said.

 

Bryant, who did not speak with the media after practice, responded with a flurry of moves, which — according to World Peace — included turnarounds over both shoulders and a four-point play. […] “We, the white team, won the first game … and then somebody said something to Kobe,” Larry Nance, Jr. said. “Four 3’s later, you can see the score now — (purple) team won. … I think we’ve learned from that mistake: Don’t poke the bear.”

 

Whether he’s a bear, black mamba or any other deadly creature, Bryant certainly impressed head coach Byron Scott, who said his conditioning was “better than I thought it would be” after 11 days without scrimmaging. […] “I told him if he couldn’t go today or tomorrow, I’d start worrying,” Scott said. “He walked out today and said he felt good. Gave me a thumbs up, went through the scrimmage and everything. You could see a little rust, but he was moving pretty fluidly again. It was good to see.”