How Kobe's spending retirement: Pulling sweaty pranks on 'Ellen'

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After riding off into the sunset in just about the most perfect way imaginable, we knew what Kobe Bryant planned to do: work out in the morning, head over to the Kobe Inc. offices, and get to work on branding, or storytelling, or telling stories about branding. Following a couple of nose-to-the-grindstone weeks, though, the former Los Angeles Lakers legend and future first-ballot Hall of Famer found some time for a bit of fun, making his first post-retirement media appearance in a visit to "Ellen" to discuss the emotions of that unforgettable night, among other things.

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(You can watch the full five-minute interview here.)

Those "other things" included flexing his straight-man comedic chops in a hidden-camera prank that saw him describe to an unsuspecting esthetician, in somewhat excruciating detail, the extent of an imaginary sweating problem that he claimed plagued him over the course of his playing career, with host Ellen DeGeneres feeding him fake nicknames like "Sir Sweats-A-Lot" and "Sweat Middler" through an earpiece:

"It starts on my left upper cheek — my buttocks. Starts dripping down to my knee and drips back up. It just keeps going up, up, up to my ear. Wraps around my neck, then from there's it's like a shower. I'm soaking wet. Just drenched." [...]

"I'm so sad," Bryant says. "The guys in the locker room made fun of me all the time. They would sing a song: 'Sweaty Kobe, Okie Dokie.'"

And here I thought Kobe wasn't going to be returning to spitting rhymes after he hung up his high-tops.

Eventually, Kobe let the mark in on the goof, giving her a hug — but only after confirming, naturally, that he was not super sweaty.

It's exceedingly unlikely that any basketball fan familiar with Bryant's maniacal competitive streak would be in any way surprised by the fact that Kobe commits to this bit 110 percent, from the singing to the humming to the emphasis on delivering every line Ellen feeds him without breaking, but it's kind of nice to see his single-minded approach to success manifest itself in another realm. Maybe — just maybe — the Mamba will find enough ways to pass all the free time he's got on his hands now.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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