If there is any truth to the rumored root of the rumored rift between Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant being Vanessa Bryant then the Lakers brass has to hold their star accountable. Rumors are afloat that Gasol hasn’t spoken to Kobe in months as a result of Vanessa’s interference in Gasol’s relationship with Silvia Lopez Castro. Gasol further added fuel to the fire stating after the Lakers were trounced in Dallas:
“I have to learn from this. I have to learn that when something happens off the court, you have to keep it off the court.”
If there’s any truth to this, it would be the third time in a decade that Vanessa Bryant’s name was mentioned in team friction and the second player feud that she was at the center of.
In 2004 she called Karl Malone’s wife after accusing him of making inappropriate comments to her. Malone is on record as to saying that the resulting friction aided in his decision to retire. Of course, we’re all familiar of Kobe turning Sammy the Bull on Shaquille O’Neal after being accused of rape in Colorado years back.
There’s no doubting that Pau Gasol didn’t play to his capabilities in these playoffs. If he was at all aided in underperforming by Vanessa Bryant’s actions, then Kobe has some apologizing to do. After watching Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers self destruct from off court issues, it should’ve been apparent to Kobe what dissension in a locker room could lead to. As the leader of the Lakers and head of his household, Bryant dropped the ball on both teams.