I don’t know what you’re getting for Christmas, but Kobe Bryant’s present is a total fluff job by the Miami Herald’d Dan LeBatard. I’ve got to hand it to No. 8 No. 24 ; either Kobe truly doesn’t care how badly he comes off, or he’s an bigger tool than anyone imagined.

Q: What’s the greatest perk involved with being Kobe Bryant?

A: Access. To people. To things. If I want to buy something, it just takes a couple of calls and I get a great deal. I’m looking into buying a helicopter, for example. It’s going to eliminate traffic. It’ll take me only 15 minutes to get to games.

Q: During the time before the rape trail, how would you describe the scrutiny and pain of your darkest time?

A: I’m extremely religious. Everybody has a cross to bear, and I had to pick mine up and carry it. But I try to keep things in perspective. This was not a Katrina-victim cross. I didn’t lose a loved one or a child. That’s what faith will do. You reach bottom, and you can’t carry the cross anymore, God carries it for you. My faith was OK before that, but that time enlightened me to His strength. There’s enlightenment at the bottom.

Q: Give me an off-court example of how unreasonably competitive you are.

A: Being competitive when playing my 3-year-old daughter in Candyland? My daughter has gotten really mad playing me at Concentration. We were playing that memory game, and I knew where the winning cards were, and she didn’t. I was a little tempted to turn them over. But my wife was watching, and she said I better not. So I conceded.