Kobe Bryant’s dunk over Josh Smith was, um, emphatic. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

When he isn’t musing about things like getting on Instagram, Kobe Bryant is throwing down monster dunks and leading his team to a .500 record.

He’s also trying to convince everyone he has a new nickname.

“The vino,” he said of that nickname, “is out of the barrel.”

The Lakers have won 13 of their last 18 games, beating the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday and pulling within 2 1/2 games of a Western Conference playoff spot. Over the last five games, Bryant has averaged 34.8 points on 56.9 percent shooting.

Suddenly, he’s talking about the aging of fine wine (we think) rather than the “old as [expletive]” team and soaring over Josh Smith for a dunk.

“Vino,” he said (via the Los Angeles Times) with a smile and had no explanation for his turn-back-the-clock moment.

“I don’t know. You guys tell me,” Bryant told reporters. “I was in my coffin a few years ago. I’ve got plenty in the tank, but if y’all want to feel free to criticize and say I don’t, go right ahead.”

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