Kobe's photo shoot has inspired a parody contest at Deadspin.com

*It seems Kobe Bryant is having a little trouble believing that’s him in those “artsy” pictures he took for a recent LA Times magazine photo shoot. Well, actually, he’s now saying they were “doctored.”

Don’t laugh, if it was you in his shoes, you might be having the same second thoughts. On top of that, they’ve inspired an online contest at Deadspin.com (see above) to see who can come up with the most creative (no, we didn’t say ridiculous) parody of the flicks.

Meanwhile, below, is an excerpt from a piece written by LA Times columnist James Rainey advising the Black Mamba to dispense with the self-denial and just own up to “white hot pics.” Yeah Kobe, be a man about it.

Kobe, Kobe, Kobe. It must seem like the Week of Judgment that followed your “White Hot” fashion statement should be disappearing, at long last, over the horizon.

You’ve absorbed incredulity, mockery and multiple questions about the way you wrapped yourself all in white for a photo spread in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times Magazine. The enormous blow back and the multiple online parodies must be getting a little old.

But I’m here to tell you, No. 24, you could have turned the spotlight’s glare into a warm glow instead of a punishing laser if you had lived only by the one rule you never seem to forget on the basketball court: Own the moment.

You should have embraced every one of those magazine pictures – Oh White-Scrubbed Spa Victim, Oh Doe-Eyed Bedouin Chief, Oh Baby-Faced Capone in Headband & Fedora. That would have made you the master (or at least not the victim) of the moment. Instead, you fell back on a tiresome locker-room cliché.

Meanwhile, the LA Lakers, behind Kobe, are bringing the pain to the Utah Jazz in their Western Conference Semi Finals playoff series. After Saturday night’s 111-110 victory, the Purple and Gold now have a 3 games to none edge. Oh yeah, read more from James Rainey, HERE.