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Lakers guard Bryant finally joins Twitter world

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant celebrates after scoring against the New York Knicks during the second half of their NBA basketball game in
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant celebrates after scoring against the New York Knicks during the second half of their NBA basketball game in

(Reuters) - Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant finally succumbed to the social network Twitter when he opened his own verified account on Friday.

"The antisocial has become social #mambatweets," Bryant, who is nicknamed "Black Mamba", said in his first tweet.

Within five hours of his account being open, the 14-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion had attracted nearly 300,000 followers.

One of the most popular players in the game and a regular user of Facebook, Bryant had flirted with Twitter when he briefly took over Nike basketball's account last week.

"You're able to get a lot of great feedback about the game but also about the product as well -- what they thought, what they like, what they didn't like," the 34-year-old told reporters about the benefits of Twitter.

"It's the best way to gauge reaction."

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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