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Sportress of Blogitude

Kobe Bryant said to be livid over getting dragged into Lakers drama

Kobe Bryant was tangentially mentioned in a bombshell piece from ESPN’s Baxter Holmes that chronicles the Los Angeles Lakers’ stunning organizational dysfunction, and Stephen A. Smith reports that the legend is not happy about it.

During Tuesday’s edition of “First Take,” Smith said Bryant is “livid” over getting dragged into the latest Lakers’ mess. Smith notes that Bryant serves in no official capacity with the organization and the franchise icon avoids involvement in the team’s day-to-day operations.

“Kobe Bryant was livid at his name even being mentioned,” Smith said. “His attitude is, ‘I’m here coaching my girls, I ain’t got nothing to do with any of that nonsense. Rob Pelinka has his own relationship with Jeanie Buss. Of course he’s a guy that I value and I trust. He represented me for years. I love the guy, but I’ve got nothing to do with the Lakers. Y’all tell people to keep my damn name out of their mouths.’”

Bryant is not explicitly or implicitly held accountable for the Lakers’ ongoing and embarrassing drama, of course. Nevertheless, Holmes’ damning portrayal of the organization’s ineptitude does cite how general manager Rob Pelinka once name-dropped Bryant in an anecdote that was either entirely made up or woefully and comically inaccurate.

The story involving Bryant centers around how Pelinka — who once served as superstar’s agent — once claimed that he set up a meet-and-greet between the NBA star and actor Heath Ledger. The meeting was said to have occurred after Bryant watched Ledger’s iconic portrayal of The Joker in “The Dark Night.” The problem is that Ledger of course tragically passed away months before the film’s release.

Video has since surfaced of Pelinka spinning the above yarn.

The case can be made that Pelinka had no reason whatsoever to share such an absurd anecdote. In fact, given his longstanding relationship with Bryant, odds are Pelinka had myriad other options for stories he could have told if he simply wanted to share something about Kobe.