ESPN’s Shelley Smith Calls Out Kobe For Being Fake & Phony During Retirement Tour
ESPN reporter Shelley Smith and Los Angeles Lakers future hall of famer Kobe Bryant hadn’t spoken to each other in over 10 years. Smith covered the Colorado rape case and wrote things Kobe did not like and vowed never to speak to her again because of it. Here is Shelley Smith’s Q & A with the New York Post on the retiring Kobe Bryant.
Q: Did anyone’s reaction to it surprise you?
A: Kobe and I started speaking after 10 years. I am not sure if it’s because I had cancer or if it’s because he is in a weird place right now — he’s being nice to everybody right now because he wants to go out being beloved. I covered his rape trial in Colorado and there were things I reported that he disagreed with. He told me he’d never speak to me again, and this was 10 years ago. It was real nasty and awkward. At media day this year, Lakers PR came over and said he’d do an interview and he came up to me and gave me a big hug. My jaw hit the floor.
Q: Is Bryant’s new niceness working?
A: I don’t quite buy it. Everyone I talk to, no one believes it, because he wants to go out beloved like [Michael] Jordan did. He wants to go off into the sunset as a superhero, but we all remember how badly he treated a lot of us.
Q: Where do you think Bryant goes after the NBA?
A: I would be surprised if he stayed in basketball because he burned bridges coming up with players, coaches and front-office personnel. I think he’ll go into some sort of business. He’s very smart business-wise and he has a great brand.
H/T – NyPost