On Tuesday, Kobe Bryant made a public appearance to discuss his charitable efforts to reduce homelessness in the greater Los Angeles area. You can see my write-up here .
It’s an issue that deserved its own place in this age of negativity.
Despite the importance of the issue being discussed in this forum, there was another topic on the minds of the reporters gathered at the center. Kobe Bryant didn’t want to talk about the proverbial elephant in the room.
Bryant has yet to issue a public statement regarding the Lakers’ hiring of Mike Brown to succeed Phil Jackson on the bench. Brown has done seemingly every radio show in the past week and even hit “Lopez Tonight” on Tuesday night. He’s spoken of having an open dialogue with Bryant since the Lakers’ offer was extended.
Bryant refused to get into a discussion about the coaching change on Tuesday. He replied tersely to questions about Brown with “this is neither the time or the place.” It was his standard answer to the first question and any follow-ups.
The Los Angeles media has speculated that Bryant is chapped because he wasn’t consulted about the hire. Players had openly campaigned for Brian Shaw, an assistant to Phil Jackson, to get the gig. The Lakers’ unceremonious departure from the NBA Playoffs certainly didn’t help Shaw’s cause.
Now fans are left wondering whether the sweep has left the team fractured. Clearly nobody expected Bryant to be in a particularly good mood when discussing basketball, but the stern dismissal of questions raised many eyebrows. He had the forum to get his message out and discuss the foundation that he and his wife had established. It’s most certainly a worthy and noble effort on his part as a leader in this community.
It’s just unfortunate that his refusal to answer this line of questioning deflects attention from the cause. The charitable work becomes a side story to the questions that Bryant didn’t answer here.
Those answers would have been featured in separate blogs, news reports and radio chatter. Now, the charity story reads as the undercard.
Is there a fight to come?