2013 All-Star Game: Kobe Bryant shows Twitter love to Yasiel Puig

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig grabs a bat in the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Kobe Bryant believes Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has that one-of-kind #mambadna. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

It may feel like a lifetime ago, but Kobe Bryant understands what it’s like to be a young, superstar phenom. Now 34, Kobe was only 17 when he was first drafted – and needed his parents to co-sign his first Lakers contract, no kidding.

Nowadays, a well-aged Kobe has taken time away from rehabbing his surgically-repaired Achilles to watch some baseball, and he has been more than impressed with another Los Angeles hot-shot, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.

Only 22 years old, Puig has injected life into what had been a massively disappointing LA squad. As of writing, his batting average stands at a whopping .407, but he has only played in 34 games.

While the 6-foot-3, 240-pound man-child has blown away both fans and competition alike in piling up 55 hits, his limited time in the Majors has hindered him at the voting booth. Baseball is currently holding a vote for the final spot on both the American and National League All-Star teams, and Puig sits at second in NL balloting.

Perhaps the full weight of a Kobe Bryant tweet will change the game, just like Puig has through the first month-plus of his career.

Even better, the obviously star-struck Puig responded in a far less stoic manner.

And by “less stoic,” we mean the young gunner went ahead and invited Kobe to throw out the first pitch at one of the Dodgers’ upcoming games against the Yankees. Of course, it would probably only take a phone call to bump whomever is supposed to throw it out and let Bryant do his mamba thing on the mound.

Look at all the love Dwight Howard is missing out on.

[H/T: SB Nation]

Highlights of Yasiel Puig’s legendary first month in the Majors