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The news that Pam Bryant, Kobe’s Bryant’s mother, is trying to sell a million dollars worth of Kobe’s memorabilia apparently left with her has opened up yet another chapter of the Byrant saga, which has been fraught with a family turmoil on both sides, a rape case, a divorce filing that was then dropped and allegations some years ago that Vanessa was hit on by Kobe’s then teammate Karl Malone.
While Kobe and his parents had reconciled, they are now estranged again as Kobe has filed a cease and desist against his mother and a New Jersey based auction house to keep his mother from selling his personal items. She has reportedly said the $450,000 advance is to purchase a new home.
Who really knows what’s going on here? Of course the internets are on fire with “fans” alleging that while his mother in law is sitting pretty, his mama’s in the poor house. I highly doubt that. Years ago, I went to the prom with Kobe Bryant. No, I wasn’t his date, singer Brandy was and I was with Brandy to write the story for the Philadelphia Daily News. The two, then both 18, were the epitome of a cute teenage couple, whispering and giggling to each other as we rode in a limo to Kobe’s parent’s house in an upper middle class Philadelphia suburb.
I remember a modest but cozy family home and a tight-knit family. I’d see Kobe’s tall, pretty older sisters, Shaya and Sharia, all the time out in Philly and at NBA All-Star Games. Since 2003, Sofia Urbieta Laine, Vanessa’s mother, has lived in a $2.5 million dollar mansion purchased by Bryant after her own tumultuous divorce. That house sold recently but not before Laine moved into another one.
Kobe responded this way via Twitter on Saturday morning: When u give Give GIVE and they take Take TAKE at wat point do u draw a line in the sand? #hurtbeyondmeasure #gavemenowarning #love?
As Biggie once said “Mo, money, mo’ problems.” In Kobe’s case, his once close family relationship faded in the wake of championships, a marriage unpopular with his parents and his own challenging adjustments to fame. It’s too bad they can’t all go on “Iyanla, Fix My Life” and hug it out, especially as Kobe has voiced frustration over his torn Achilles that could signal the beginning of the end of his NBA career. Kobe’s never been the most popular NBA player, despite his successes.
Although he’s got the rings and his own family now, it’s sad to think that he can’t celebrate his success with the people that helped make him who he is today. Fame and money do funny things to people and it just may be that Kobe’s not an ungrateful son, but the son of parents who let the love of money become more important than the love of their son. We hope neither is the case and it’s just a misunderstanding.
While winning his fourth MVP award, LeBron James thanked his mother, his fiancée, his teammates, his high school homies who now work with him and his future mother-and-father-in-law, all who attended his award ceremony. It’s too bad that Kobe has never had that kind of unity among his loved ones. Kobe and Vanessa have long seemed isolated from just about everyone else – if either has friends outside of each other, we’ve never seen them. But Vanessa has stuck by his side through a lot of BS. So maybe it pays to stick with wifey and let mama and ‘nem alone. Like some of us sadly know, family can hurt you more than anyone else.