O.C. Register: Kobe Bryant walked over to the far side of the court and initiated the conversation with Jerry Buss today after practice. What a difference a year makes.

Bryant and Buss spoke amiably for a few minutes before parting with a handshake on which Buss reached out gently with his left hand to squeeze Bryant’s elbow for a little extra. Buss had sat in on the first Lakers practice of the season — his car parked just outside the door with the license plate “9XWCHAMP” — and had the most fun watching Bryant and Pau Gasol play a fun game of one-on-one on a side basket while most of the other Lakers ran practice-ending sprints.

Buss smiled big and laughed loud when Bryant got on a roll, scoring time after time over Gasol on an array of short pull-up jumpers before breaking out a lovely up-and-under move after Sasha Vujacic had tried to advise Gasol to stand taller by repeatedly yelling over: “He can’t shoot over you!” Gasol finally surrendered with a playfully hard foul on the next Bryant attack.

Bryant and Gasol, both coming off Olympic action over the summer, were excused from parts of practice. The Lakers will practice again tonight at their El Segundo facility and are scheduled for two-a-day work through Sunday.

  • PeanutButterSpread

    lol @ Sasha helping Pau.