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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Articles tagged: Kobe Bryant

Eagles’ Jalen Mills says Kobe, LeBron inspired him to change his number

Jalen Mills wants to start a new chapter with the Philadelphia Eagles, and he is crediting a pair of all-time basketball greats for providing the inspiration.

The Eagles veteran, who will be changing his number from 31 to 21, said on Tuesday that LeBron James and the late Kobe Bryant inspired the change.

“The number change is just a new beginning,” Mills said, per Martin Frank of the Delaware News Journal. “One of the guys who always motivates me was Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. Kobe went from 8 to 24. LeBron from 6 to 23. It’s re-creating myself, re-creating that ‘Green Goblin,’ that monster. It’s a new position. It’s a new feel. It’s going to be new energy.”

The 25-year-old Mills, who will also be switching positions from cornerback to safety next season, signed a one-year, $5 million deal to return to Philadelphia this offseason. He added that he had interest from other teams as well but that they all wanted him to remain as a cornerback.

For Mills, whose number change will allow the newly-signed Nickell Robey-Coleman to wear No. 31 instead, let’s just say that this is much better than the last time that he got involved with the NBA.

Kobe Bryant’s daughters appointed guardians for family trust

Kobe Bryant family

Vanessa Bryant has been trying to get matters sorted regarding her family trust ever since husband Kobe and daughter Gianna died in January. There has been some progress in that effort, according to a report.

TMZ Sports reported on Monday night that Bryant’s daughters have been appointed legal guardians to represent their interests in the family trust. Vanessa and Kobe’s agent, Rob Pelinka, are the co-trustees.

According to TMZ, new legal documents say Natalia and Bianka have been appointed a guardian ad litem. Baby Capri has a guardian ad litem as well, though her guardian is different from the one her two older sisters have.

A guardian ad litem acts to protect a child’s interest.

Natalia is 17 and the closest to being an adult. Bianka is 3, while Capri is nine months old.

Vanessa recently was attempting to get Capri added to the trust since the young baby was not born at the time the trust was last updated. Bryant was looking to get things done soon because of uncertainty regarding shutdowns related to the coronavirus.

Vanessa Bryant trying to amend trust to include baby Capri

Vanessa Bryant speech

Vanessa Bryant has been sorting through a number of legal issues since her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash earlier this year, and one of them involves making another amendment to Kobe’s trust.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Vanessa is trying to amend Kobe’s trust to include the couple’s youngest daughter, Capri. The trust was created in 2003 and has been amended several times, most recently in 2017. The previous amendments appeared to come after each of Kobe’s and Vanessa’s first three daughters — Natalia, Gianna and Bianka — were born. However, Capri is just nine months old and the Bryants likely just had not gotten around to amending the trust again before Kobe died.

The way the trust is currently set up allows for Vanessa, Natalia and Bianka to draw from the principal and income during Vanessa’s lifetime, and the girls get the remainder of the money after Vanessa’s death. Vanessa wants to include Capri in the distribution, and a judge should have no problem signing off on the amendment.

Fortunately, this legal matter sounds like it will be easy for Vanessa to sort out. The same cannot be said for some of the other issues she could have while she continues to mourn the death of her husband and daughter.

Stephon Marbury: LeBron not a ‘real Laker,’ doesn’t need to carry out Kobe’s legacy

LeBron James

Kobe Bryant has received a lot of love from LeBron James and other sports icons since the five-time NBA champion tragically died in a helicopter crash back in January, but Stephon Marbury seems to feel that some of the nice things that have been said about Kobe are disingenuous.

Marbury was a guest on Complex’s “Load Management” podcast recently, and he vented about people who “hated Kobe” now showering the Los Angeles Lakers legend in praise. Marbury also criticized LeBron James and others who have said they are going to carry out Kobe’s legacy. The former New York Knick said Bryant’s legacy is already established and that LeBron doesn’t need to continue it because he is “not no real Laker.”

“You don’t need to go and get guys like LeBron to go speak and talk about what they’re going to carry and all that,” Marbury said. “He doesn’t need you to carry his legacy. His legacy is his legacy. Carry your own legacy. Keep you poppin’ and going. You’re not no real Laker.”

Marbury added that he feels a special bond with Kobe because he played against him and was part of the same historically good 1996 NBA Draft class.

“So when you hear these guys saying this type of stuff and doing these types of things, I’m wondering what is it for,” Marbury said. “Is it for show or is it for real life?”

It’s unclear which players Marbury is referring to that hated Kobe, but LeBron should not be one of them. All indications are that Kobe and LeBron had strengthened their relationship after James signed with the Lakers, and LeBron was one of the last people Kobe spoke to before he died. Marbury seems like he is just trying to stir up controversy.

Vanessa Bryant releases statement on helicopter crash photos being leaked

Vanessa Bryant speech

Authorities in Los Angeles say they are looking into how sensitive photos from the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site were leaked to the public, and Vanessa Bryant has weighed in on the situation with a formal statement.

Vanessa Bryant’s legal team released a statement on her behalf Sunday blasting the Los Angeles Count Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department for the “inexcusable and deplorable” behavior of some of its deputies.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Statement From Gary C. Robb, Legal Counsel on Behalf of His Client, Vanessa Bryant: Our client, Vanessa Bryant, is absolutely devastated by allegations that deputies from the Lost Hills Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department publicly disseminated photos from the helicopter crash site. Mrs. Bryant personally went to the Sheriff’s office on January 26th and requested that the area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers. This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families. At that time, Sheriff Alex Villanueva assured us all measures would be put in place to protect the families’ privacy, and it is our understanding that he has worked hard to honor those requests. First responders should be trustworthy. It is inexcusable and deplorable that some deputies from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, other surrounding substations and LACOFD would allegedly breach their duty. This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families. We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated. We are requesting an Internal Affairs investigation of these alleged incidents. Mrs. Bryant is grateful to the individual who filed an online complaint exposing these acts of injustice, and for the choice to protect human dignity. We ask that anyone else who has information as to the facts underlying these alleged grievous and shameful incidents contact our office at 816–474-8080 or email via www.robbrobb.com

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant (@vanessabryant) on

“This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families,” the statement read. “We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated. We are requesting an Internal Affairs investigation of these alleged incidents.”

The Los Angeles Times first reported on Friday that deputies shared graphic photos — including some that showed remains — of the site where Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed. Officials became aware that the photos were shared just two days after the crash.

According to TMZ, one of the deputies showed the photos to a woman at a bar while trying to impress her. The bartender saw what happened and filed an online complaint with the Sheriff’s Department. The photos were also shared at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, and deputies from other substations also reportedly took unauthorized photos on their cell phones.

Vanessa Bryant will unfortunately have to deal with a lot of legal trouble now in addition to losing her husband and 13-year-old daughter Gianna. She has already filed one lawsuit, and there could be more coming.

Kobe Bryant’s sister Sharia gets tattoo honoring Kobe, Gianna

Sharia Kobe Bryant tattoo

Numerous fans and friends have been paying tribute to the late Kobe Bryant by getting tattoos honoring him and his daughter, Gianna, who were among nine people who died in a helicopter crash on January 26. One of Kobe’s sisters is also paying tribute with some ink.

Sharia Washington, who is the oldest of the three Bryant children, got a tattoo of the numbers 2 and 24, which were Gigi and Kobe’s respective numbers. The numbers are wrapped by a mamba snake, representing Kobe’s “Black Mamba” nickname, that weaves an “8” — which was Kobe’s other number.

The mamba snake can also be viewed as an infinity symbol, perhaps as sign that Kobe and Gigi’s legacies will live on forever.

Sharia is 43, sister Shaya is 42, and Kobe was 41 when he died. Kobe notoriously had some issues with his immediate family, but his parents and siblings are going through an extremely difficult time. Shaq sat next to Kobe’s parents during Monday’s memorial at Staples Center and later recognized them on TV.

Lamar Odom wishes he could ask Kobe Bryant for advice on recent fan backlash

Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom has recently been hearing some criticism from fans who are unhappy that he pawned his Los Angeles Lakers championship rings, and the former NBA star wishes one of his closest friends were still around to give him advice on how to handle the situation.

Odom and Kobe Bryant were close during their time playing together and afterword, and Odom told TMZ this week that he is hurting over Kobe’s death like many others. Bryant helped Odom through some of his lowest moments in life, and Odom says he would have leaned on Kobe for advice with many Lakers fans currently upset with him.

“I miss him just for his advice,” Odom said. “The first advice I would ask him for is how do I get these fans to forgive me for pawning those rings — just for his brotherhood and leadership.”

As TMZ recently reported, Odom pawned his 2008-09 and 2009-10 Lakers championship rings years ago when he was having issues with his ex-wife Khloe Kardashian. The rings recently hit the auction block with Heritage Auctions, where the bidding has gotten up to $60,000 and is expected to eclipse $100K at some point.

Odom has battled addiction and had financial trouble since his playing career ended, and he recently revealed one of the ill-advised ways he blew a ton of money.

Odom nearly died of a drug overdose back in 2015. The incident took place not long after two of his closest friends died, and Kobe was one of the first people to reach out to Odom to help him then. Odom must be struggling with yet another major loss in his life.