Kobe Bryant was talking with his good friend Carmelo Anthony in the wake of the Linsanity fever that swept New York last season. Bryant had one question for Anthony.

"What the hell are you doing?" Bryant said.

What Bryant said he saw was a guy who was simply not being himself. Last night, before he sprained an ankle, Anthony — as he has all season — was himself.

"Melo was sensational," Bryant said after Anthony scored 30 points in 23 minutes before leaving the Knicks' 116-107 victory over the Lakers with the injury.

"He's playing the way he's always played throughout his career. He's in an environment where they celebrate that and encourage that. He is being who he is," Bryant said.

Far cry from last season. And Bryant put some of the blame on the media.

"He and I are good friends," Bryant said after scoring 31 points in a losing effort. "We talked last year. He and I are good friends. We talked together and last year was very tough for him because he got criticized a lot for shooting, playing the way he likes to play. And then the whole Linsanity thing happened and everybody said, 'They're better without Carmelo' and all that nonsense. You guys put the hammer on him and as a result, he kind of got a little gun shy, a little self-conscious."

So Anthony and Bryant had that chat. Bryant told him to be himself, to do what he does best. And it certainly helped that "he organization surrounded him with pieces that allowed him to do that and now all you guys are celebrating him. God bless you guys."