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
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…