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Has there ever been a more polarizing player in the NBA than Kobe Bryant? The dichotomy is evident in the All-Star guard’s current predicament. At 34 years-old he’s technically in the twilight of his career but is nevertheless playing at an insanely elite level. However, his L.A. Lakers squad is playing like a bunch of overpaid burgers, reflected by their current 17-25 record.

Even longtime Lakers haters with at least an inkling of empathy or a touch of sympathy are starting to feel bad for the Black Mamba. The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that his squad had a team meeting, and from the alleged behavior of Dwight Howard, ish will not be improving anytime soon.

Bryant also spoke up, acknowledging he could be “hard to play with” and asking Howard if that bothered him.

Howard’s answer was unclear, though he did not engage Bryant in nearly as vocal a manner as Bryant engaged him.

“He didn’t go back at Kobe,” said the person who witnessed the meeting.

It was not known how long the actual meeting lasted, but the Lakers’ shoot-around went an hour longer than expected.

Howard was contrite with reporters afterward, saying he was sorry for demanding more touches two days earlier. The meeting seemed to have affected him.

Which leads us to the point of this post. Kobe is clearly an alpha male who will back down from no one, and the Lakers have his back. Ask Shaquille O’Neal. Dwight Howard’s passive aggressiveness is not going to fly. It’s nothing new, just check the f-ckery that was the end of his time with the Orlando Magic.

So while Kobe is a lock for the Hall of Fame, and his plight may make you feel bad for him, the frustration that appears on his face when things aren’t going his way are pure comedy. The struggle that man has revealed via his facial expressions throughout his career is truly epic.

Check the gallery below and see for yourself.

Photos: NBA, AP, Getty

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