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Kobe Bryant

Risks Most Valuable Hand

... To Pet a LION!!!

10/24/2013 4:36 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

1024_kobe_lion_pcn_SPLIT
The fate of the Los Angeles Lakers rests in the hands of Kobe Bryant ... which is why it might be concerning that his hands are near the mouth of A LIVE MAN-EATING LION!!!

Kobe faced down the king of the jungle at an L.A. studio today ... during a commercial shoot for Turkish Airlines. Kobe's a celebrity spokesman for the airline.

Check out the pics above ... that's Kobe sticking his right hand (his shooting hand, mind you) directly up to the lion's mouth.

Fortunately, Kobe emerged without a scratch ... and he's lucky ... 'cause as everyone knows, big cats can be dangerous to humans. Just ask Adam Sandler ...

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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