Kobe Bryant displayed his renowned competitive side recently when he took on a random fan at the 2014 Kobe academy.

Horsing around

Challenged to the classic gym game H.O.R.S.E, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar was given a run for his money early on by the fan known as Sami.

But Kobe Bryant hasn't won five NBA titles and appeared in 16 All-Star games by accident and he soon worked out Sami's tactics - swapping the fan's well-practiced jump shots for a few more difficult moves as his professional instincts won out.

Sami took an early two letter lead with a couple of impressive shots of his own which Kobe failed to replicate. Then the Black Mamba got to work, winning five straight points against the fan.

Some might argue, as a professional basketball player representing the NBA, Bryant should have gone a little easier on his amateur opponent but where is the fun in that? Kobe played the game in good spirit and Sami couldn't help be impressed with getting to watch the master of his craft up close and personal.

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Kobe on the comeback trail

The site of Kobe Bryant back to hitting shots on a basketball court is sure to make pleasant viewing for Lakers fans, even if it is just in a low-key game of H.O.R.S.E rather than in front of a packed Staples Center.

With the veteran having missed all but six of the Lakers' 2013-14 regular season games however, Bryant is determined to return with a bang when game one of the upcoming campaign gets underway.

He may well face stiffer contests that this recent gym game but Bryant clearly hasn't lost any of that competitive edge during his spell on the sidelines. And the 2014-15 NBA season will be better for his return because of that.

Lakers rebuild

As for the Lakers franchise as a whole, they continue to look to rebuild this offseason despite not having a recognized coach as we approach the final week of July.

Both Nick Young and Ryan Kelly re-signed Monday as the Lakers look to bounce back from what was a hugely disappointing 27-55 record last time out.

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