Basketball - NBA-Lakers guard Bryant finally joins Twitter world

Jan 4 (Reuters) - Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant finally succumbed to the social network Twitter when he opened his own verified account on Friday.

"The antisocial has become social #mambatweets," Bryant, who is nicknamed "Black Mamba", said in his first tweet.

Within five hours of his account being open, the 14-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion had attracted nearly 300,000 followers.

One of the most popular players in the game and a regular user of Facebook, Bryant had flirted with Twitter when he briefly took over Nike basketball's account last week.

"You're able to get a lot of great feedback about the game but also about the product as well -- what they thought, what they like, what they didn't like," the 34-year-old told reporters about the benefits of Twitter.

"It's the best way to gauge reaction." (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)