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Stephen A. Smith says Kobe Bryant is ‘livid’ his name was mentioned in story about dysfunction in Los Angeles

Lakers, Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant is reportedly “livid” that his name was mentioned in a scathing report detailing the dysfunction in the Los Angeles Lakers organization, according to ESPN’s Steven A. Smith.

While Bryant is by no means involved with the disarray in the organization, an anecdote surrounding his former agent Rob Pelinka, now the general manager of the franchise.

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes provided an anecdote that Pelinka used to flex his muscle around renowned actor and longtime wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, one that was later found to be untrue.

Smith said Bryant was irate that his name was even brought out in the story during Tuesday’s iteration of First Take.

“Kobe Bryant was livid at his name even being mentioned,” said Smith. “His attitude is ‘I’m here coaching my girls, I ain’t got nothin’ to do with any of that nonsense. Rob Pelinka’s got his own relationship with Jeanie Buss. Of course he’s a guy that I value and that I trust, he’s represented me for years, but I got nothing to do with the Lakers. Y’all tell them people to keep my name out of their mouth.’ That’s Kobe.”

Holmes’ story revealed a multitude of time in which Pelinka flat out lied, a perception that has now flooded the Lakers’ front office, as several staffers are wary of a nearly-pathological tendency to bend the truth and at times create situations to wind up in a favorable spot.

Pelinka’s anecdote claimed that he set up a dinner with late actor Heath Ledger, one that reportedly never took place.

“There was one time when Kobe, who I worked with for 18 years, was going back to play in Madison Square Garden, and he had just seen ‘The Dark Knight,'” Pelinka said. “Obviously, you guys saw that movie, and he’s like, ‘Hey, hook me up with dinner with Heath Ledger, because he got so locked into that role. I want to know how he mentally went there.’ So, he had dinner with Heath, and he talked about how he locks in for a role.

“And Kobe used some of that in his game against the Knicks.”

Bryant’s name was only used on Holmes story to provide a source for context, but never was he involved in any of the Lakers mishandlings or any of their poor decisions. However it stands to reason why Bryant would be this upset of any ink spilling in an otherwise highly-decorated 20-year NBA career.