Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports:

Now that Lakers star  Kobe Bryant has a little free time, he has decided to spend it in South Africa, with the sport he grew up loving.

Kobe Bryant attends World Cup

On his first trip to Africa, Bryant took in the U.S. loss to Ghana on Saturday — former President Bill Clinton and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger were there too — then spent Sunday visiting young soccer players at a training center in Soweto, where he answered questions.

His favorite player? Didier Drogba, the powerful forward of now-eliminated Ivory Coast.

The team he admires? Brazil, which he hopes to watch against Chile on Monday. says: It would be cool to see Kobe meet the Brazil team, just to see the reactions on the Brazil players’ faces. I assume that every single one of them knows who Bryant is, but I wonder if they would mostly treat him like a celebrity, or just a star of a sport that most of them aren’t that into. Obviously they’d all be polite to each other, but I wonder how many of these soccer legends really know and like basketball.