Maybe Kobe Bryant Isn’t Such A Bad Guy After All
We must be feeling very generous when it comes to giving Kobe Bryant good press this week. But we have to admit that he deserves it. Yesterday, we posted a story about his new Nike Zoom Kobe VI “Think Pink” sneaker, which will go on sale later this week and benefit the Kay Yow Foundation in order to aid in the cure of cancer. And now we’ve got another story about the good nature of the guy that so many NBA fans love to hate.
Recently, the Los Angeles Times found out that Bryant decided to give up their 2011 NBA Playoffs bonuses to a couple of video coordinators who were recently laid off from the Los Angeles Lakers due to the NBA lockout. The coordinators, Chris Bodaken and Patrick O’Keefe, split $65,000 of the Lakers’ playoff bonus after Bryant agreed to give up his share of the bonus. “He [Kobe] always looks out for people who are lower on the totem pole,” O’Keefe told the LA Times when asked about the money Bryant decided to hand over to him.
The good-natured story doesn’t stop there, either, as Bryant has started something of a trend. Apparently, the Lakers have been forced to lay off about 20 employees since the season ended. With the lockout in full force and no end in sight, the team doesn’t need the services of many of the people that they employ and probably won’t need to rehire them until the NBA lockout ends. So Bryant’s teammate Luke Walton also agreed to give an undisclosed amount of cash to the team’s training staff recently in order to help them cope with the financial losses they’re suffering because of the the lockout.
It’s a story that should inspire other stories like it. A lot of the people who work for NBA teams are being affected by the lockout in ways that we can’t imagine. While NBA owners, who make millions of dollars every year, and NBA players, who also makes millions of dollars for playing basketball, fight over money and struggle to bring the NBA lockout to an end, there are hundreds of employees of the NBA’s individual teams who are out of work. Worse, they are people who could potentially get jobs once the lockout ends—but are essentially being forced to wait and see what will happen with the NBA lockout.
Right now, we could criticize Kobe Bryant for any number of things. Most recently, he got into some type of alleged altercation with a man in church in San Diego and brought about a lot of negative press for himself. However, we do have to give him a lot of credit in this particular instance. Bryant and his teammate aren’t required to do what they just did. It’s not their responsibility to pay people who work for their NBA teams. Realistically, it’s the teams who should be making sure that their employees are being taken care of during the lockout. But it’s good to see that NBA players care more about themselves right now. Especially since all we’re reading about them is that they don’t.