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Kobe Bryant declines to talk about Mike Brown hire

June 7, 2011 |  1:17 pm


While promoting his foundation aimed to reduce homelessness in Los Angeles, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant argued it was "neither the time nor the place," to discuss the hiring of Lakers Coach Mike Brown, his meeting with him last week or any other basketball related issues.

Bryant made those comments Tuesday at My Friend's Place, a nonprofit resource center that offers free emergency services to about 1,600 homeless people a year, according to its website.

"I understand and will address that at the right time and place," Bryant said. "But this is neither the time nor the place. Right now we're focusing on bigger issues, greater issues, and that's these kids that are here in the back. It's not fair to them. When the time comes, I'll address it. But now is not the time."

When asked in a followup when Bryant will talk about the Lakers' new coach, he simply said, "Now is not the time," taking only questions pertaining to his foundation and refusing to make himself available to reporters afterwards. Though Bryant understandably wanted the focus solely on his initiative in reducing homelessness, he hasn't spoken publicly about Brown's hire, including when The Times Broderick Turner contacted him via cell phone the day his hire became official.

Brown had characterized the Lakers' as "Kobe's team," shared that they talked about topics ranging from family, kids, his basketball philosophy and how the team can properly set up Bryant to get shots in his "sweet spots" and said his conversations "went very well." But Bryant has yet to offer his take, with Turner reporting that people close to him saying he was "confused" over the hire. The Lakers had also taken plenty of criticism for not alerting Bryant about the decision beforehand. 

--Mark Medina

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Photo: Kobe Bryant. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times