"I don't, I don't," he said. "How can I? I don't even know if I will be able to push it hard tomorrow. I have no idea."
Give us something a little more conclusive than that, Kobe. Lie to us. Just give us something. Tell us you'll be back by December. Please?
"Dude, I don't know," Bryant told Spears on the possibility of playing by December. "I don't give a [expletive] what people believe. When I'm ready, I will play."
TNT's Craig Sager tried his luck at coaxing Bryant into a better answer while he was sitting on the sidelines watching his Lakers embarrass the Clippers, but Bryant stymied him, too.
"I don't know," a smirking Mamba admitted to Sager. "It's an injury I've obviously never had before and it's tough to gauge. "I'm pushing it pretty hard this week and every day I wake up, I see how it feels and try to push it some more. I'm trying to be smart about it and trying to be patient about it."
General managers everywhere, brush up your resumes. There's a new master of shirking—the front-office version of twerking.
Like a GM, a politician or you after being caught with your hand in the cookie jar, Bryant was seemingly honest, yet evasive. He wouldn't commit to a target date for his return.
At least he was smiling on the sidelines. There was plenty to smile about as Xavier Henry and Jordan Farmar set out to make him proud.
Look closely, and you'll see he might even be blushing. You can thank Jim Buss for that.
Earlier, Buss told ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne that, contrary to other reports, the Los Angeles Lakers weren't about to let the Black Mamba become a free agent in 2014. As expected, Bryant was flattered.
"I thought it was great actually on his part to kind of silence some of the conversation that was brewing," Bryant told Spears. "I'm sure we will be in conversation."
If only Bryant was as sure about his short-term health as he was his long-term future.
"Personally? I'm going to be the way I've always been," Bryant explained to Spears. "Maybe a little better."
Now, that's more like it.