The real housewife of the LA Lakers

Kobe, and apparently Vanessa, run the Lakers.

The Lakers’ loss to the Mavericks was surprising. That the two-time defending champions were swept was shocking.

The gossip and chatter surrounding what was partially to blame for L.A.’s collapse was flat-out astonishing.

And we’re not even talking about scurrilous hearsay you read on a message board. Respected, award-winning columnist Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times actually wrote the following paragraph about soon-to-be ex-teammates Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant:

“He was referring to the report that he stopped talking to Bryant during the postseason because Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, had contributed to the breakup of Gasol and his longtime girlfriend. Lakers fans will remember that Karl Malone once publicly accused Vanessa of interfering with his personal life in a similar fashion.”

What prompted that paragraph was a horrible postseason from Gasol, who saw his field goal percentage dip by 13 percent. After an embarrassing 36-point loss in Game 4 at Dallas, the Los Angeles big man said, “I have to learn that when something happens off the court, you have to keep it off the court.”

The floppy-haired Gasol was dating stunning cheerleader Silvia Lopez Castro for more than a year. The Spanish media treated the couple as if he were a soccer star and she a WAG.

Sure, the breakup shocked him. But we wouldn’t put it past Kobe to find a way to sabotage Gasol, who will likely be part of a much bigger breakup in L.A. this summer, when the Lakers unload everyone but Bryant.

Bryant’s sketchy background

Bryant’s relationship with his wife has been bizarre since the start. They met when she was 17 and he was 21 playing for the Lakers; six months later they were engaged (she was still in high school).

Kobe’s parents were so upset that they, along with his two sisters and agent all skipped the wedding (none of his teammates attended, either). Kobe and his parents didn’t speak for two years, even when his wife gave birth.

Then came the high-profile sexual assault complaint filed by a staffer at a resort in Eagle, Colo. Kobe gave his wife a $4 million, 8-carat ring and she stuck with him.

This isn’t Kobe’s first time

The Bryants have had their fair share of run-ins with teammates.  The one between Kobe’s wife Vanessa and Malone, who played just one season in L.A. from 2003-04, is particularly memorable. The Mailman showed up at a November 2004 game dressed like a Cowboy. Vanessa asked, “Hey, cowboy, what are you hunting?” Malone shot back, “I’m hunting for little Mexican girls,” but denied he made a pass at her.

Perhaps more infamously is the Kobe-Shaq saga. During Kobe’s arrest in Colorado, police claim Bryant said he “should have done what Shaq does … that Shaq would pay his women not to say anything,” and added Shaq had paid $1 million “for situations like this.”

So yes, we totally believe Kobe and/or his wife broke up Gasol’s relationship. But let’s be honest, Pau doesn’t deserve Silvia. After all, he’s not even the best Gasol in the NBA.

–Jason Raj McIntyre  covers athletes off the field and runs the popular blog, TheBigLead.com

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send 300-word submissions to letters@metro.us.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

New York City agencies to provide healthcare, legal…

Child migrants who have recently arrived in New York City and are going through deportation hearings will now have access to services from multiple agencies,…

Local

Woman's body found floating in East River in…

A woman's body was found Tuesday morning floating in the East River near Clason Point in the Bronx. The NYPD responded to the scene shortly…

International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."

Travel

World's most hipster cities: Top 5

Travel blogger Adam Groffman tells us his picks for the Top 5 most hipster cities in the world.