kobe bryant & dwight howard*Yep, it’s about that time. Time for the 2012-13 NBA season to begin.

On Monday, one of the league’s premier teams, the Los Angeles Lakers, introduced their team to the media at the start of pre-season camp maneuvers, etc.

Of course the one new player reporters wanted to meet and greet was Dwight Howard who was traded from Orlando in the off season. Howard id the future of this storied franchise, but ’til then, it’s Kobe Bryant’s team.

Bryant didn’t have any problem making that fact know, but he also stated that he’s been using his time before retirement teaching D12 “everything I possibly know.”

Dwight Howard flattened the creases across the chest of his brand-new gold jersey and joined his teammates for a group photo, joking around and laughing even while saying cheese.

The superstar center might be an eight-year NBA veteran, but Monday still felt like the first day of school.

And it was, in a way: Howard is just getting started on his real NBA education from the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant, who is just as eager to teach as Howard is to learn.

“I know he’s going to be tough on me, but I expect that, and I want him to be that,” Howard said. “I want to be that guy. I’ll take all the heat he’s going to give me, because I know at the end of the day, it’s going to make me a better player and a better person. … I’m willing to go through that process, learn from one of the greatest ever to play the game, and I think it’ll be great.”

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Howard and Bryant wore their gold uniforms together for the first time Monday as the Lakers opened training camp with a revamped roster and sky-high expectations. After two straight seasons ending in the second round of the playoffs, a remarkable offseason shuffle by Los Angeles general manager Mitch Kupchak and owner Jim Buss has put the Lakers in prime position to contend for their 17th NBA championship.

Even while Metta World Peace crowed about the Lakers’ depth and Pau Gasol expressed his gratitude for staying with the Lakers after popping up in innumerable trade rumors, everybody’s eyes were on Bryant and Howard, the Lakers’ unquestioned leader and the supremely gifted big man he has already appointed as his heir.

“This is my team, but I want to make sure that Dwight, when I retire, this is going to be his,” Bryant said. “I want to teach him everything I possibly know, so that when I step away, this organization can ride on as if I never left.”

Read/learn more at NY Daily News.

Watch Kobe tell the world “this is my team.”: