Teammates befuddled by Kobe Bryant's wardrobe in L.A. Times Magazine's photo shoot
It was only moments after the Lakers' 104-99 Game 1 victory Sunday over the Utah Jazz that teammates caught wind of Lakers guard Kobe Bryant posing in, let's just say, interesting wardrobe for a profile story featured in the Los Angeles Times Magazine.
So even if Lakers guard Derek Fisher says he hadn't seen the photos until a reporter showed him after Monday's practice, he was certainly aware of the commotion.
"There were some other guys that have already addressed him about that particular situation," Fisher said after the practice session in El Segundo.
Teammates were left with befuddled reactions, and fans and writers alike mostly had the same confused sentiment.
Bryant suggested the photos were "a little doctored up. The photo-shoot stylist, James Valeri, told me Monday morning that the concept was all part of an effort "to do something modern."
But even if Bryant suggested the photos weren't exactly authentic, he acknowledged he "had a good time" during the shoot. And for the fans who aren't exactly enthralled with Bryant's new look?
"I don't give a ....," he said. As you can tell in the video below, many of Bryant's teammates initially appeared at a loss of words. They also hesitated to convey what their initial reactions suggested.
So in the spirit of having a fun time, below the jump is a portion of what I would be thinking if I were one of Bryant's teammates.
What Ron Artest said: "He's a star. He's Kobe Bryant. He can do what he wants."
What I would be thinking if I were Artest: "Man, why couldn't this have come out last season when I was in Houston? I would've made fun of him all series and held him scoreless. But I probably would've gotten ejected every game."
What Lamar Odom said: "It's a different look. All it is is a white shirt, a hat and a bow tie. It's different. It's hot. I like it."
What I would be thinking if I were Odom: "Kobe, I'm the nicest, most sincere, down-to-earth athlete you'll ever meet, so I'm not going to say anything. And I married Khloe Kardhasian only a month after meeting her, so I don't have much room to talk. But seriously, what are you doing?"
What Pau Gasol said: "This is a different photo shoot. If he decided to do it, he probably thinks it's good for him and it's a good look. I'm not going to say a whole lot about it."
What I would be thinking if I were Gasol: "Who am I to talk? I took part in a photo spread in which the Spanish national team mocked the Chinese during the Beijing Olympics. Besides, if I say something, I know people will just say I'm criticizing the photo shoot because I think Kobe isn't giving me enough touches."What Fisher said: "There were some other guys that have already addressed him about that particular situation. I guess things must be a lot better in L.A. now that we're in the second round and we won our first game and you guys are asking me questions about all kinds of stuff, other than how poorly we've been playing."
What I would be thinking if I were Fisher: "I respect the jobs you guys have to do, but seriously, let's just talk about the game. And fortunately, with my shooting numbers improving, my hope to steer the conversation to the game itself won't just lead to questions about my own performance."
So put yourself in the shoes of Bryant's teammates. Imagine you were Artest, Odom, Gasol or Fisher. Knowing their personalities and relationships with Bryant, what would you have said if you were one of them? The best comment will be featured in Tuesday's morning links post.
-- Mark Medina
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