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

Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…

Local

Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…

Local

Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…

Local

Islamic state issues video of beheading of U.S.…

The Islamic State militant group released a video purporting to show the beheading of U.S. hostage Steven Sotloff, the SITE monitoring service reported on Tuesday.

Arts

Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.

Arts

PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

Sports

Belinda Bencic leads crop of young stars serving…

Belinda Bencic, a 17-year-old Swiss Miss, beat two Top-10 players before suffering a disappointing loss Tuesday in the quarterfinals.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels take control, Tigers and…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels take control, Tigers and Giants climb

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Parenting

In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…