IN AN EFFORT to save his legs, 36-year-old Kobe Bryant often doesn't practice.
Yesterday, he participated for the first time in a month. And he didn't like what he saw.
Bryant yelled at his teammates collectively and individually during a scrimmage, and got so riled up he even chirped at general manager Mitch Kupchak.
"You [bleepity bleeps] are soft like Charmin," Bryant screamed during the session. "God damn, is this the type of [bleep] that's going on in these practices? Now I see why we've lost 20 [bleeping] games. We're soft like Charmin. We're soft like [bleep]."
Bryant singled out Jeremy Lin throughout the practice, challenging the 6-3 point guard to shoot whenever he had the ball.
"This [bleepity bleep] don't got [bleep]," Bryant said of Lin. "He ain't got [bleep] right now. Shoot. Shoot."
At one point, after Lin missed a jumper, Bryant yelled, "I talked his ass right into that bull[bleep]."
As the scrimmage ended, Bryant told the players what they already knew: "Practice gets real uncomfortable when I'm in this [bleepity bleep]."
When the team gathered at center court, Bryant couldn't resist telling Kupchak how he felt.
"I'm supposed to practice and get better, Mitch," Bryant said. "These [bleepity bleeps] ain't doing [bleep] for me."
Afterward, Bryant denied he was being extra hard on everyone.
"No, I was just being myself," he said. "I don't know if it helps them, but it obviously raises the intensity level. It was a tough practice for them . . . I just challenge guys and see what happens. I've always believed in throwing them in the pool and seeing if they can sink or swim.
"Back in my younger days. I used to practice like that every day."
Postscript: Charmin used the incident to get a little publicity, tweeting: "You know, in terms of toilet paper, saying you're as soft as Charmin is a good thing. In basketball? Not so much."