L.A. Lakers: Kobe Bryant's Non-Assault Continues Trend of Non-Basketball News

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L.A. Lakers: Kobe Bryant's Non-Assault Continues Trend of Non-Basketball News
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

First, Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest decided to change his name to Metta World Peace, and then center Andrew Bynum decided that his numerous knee injuries qualified him to park his BMW in spaces marked for people with disabilities.

Not to be out-done, forward Matt Barnes felt everyone needed a reminder of how tough he really is, so he proceeded to prove it by punching an opponent in the face during a summer league game in the Bay Area.

And most recently MSN reported that San Diego police are investigating a claim against star guard Kobe Bryant who allegedly injured a man's wrist while attending Mass in San Diego.

I'm sure that new Lakers' coach Mike Brown wanted his team to keep themselves busy during the NBA's work stoppage, but I'm guessing this is not what he had in mind.

The Lakers off-court transgressions have run the gamut from zany (Artest), stupid (Bynum), criminal (Barnes) and, in the case of Bryant, predictable.

Bryant reportedly grabbed a man's wrist who he believed had been taking pictures of him and his wife during services, and he later returned the man's phone after he found out that no pictures had been taken.

The "victim" in this instance needed to receive medical attention for his injuries, and the predictable outcome in this situation is the eventual lawsuit that is sure to follow.

There is a slim chance that Bryant's wrist-gate saga did cause said victim some physical anguish, but the bigger story is how the Lakers' time during the lockout has been spent making news for all the wrong reasons.

Is any other NBA fan ready for the owners and players to put aside their petty squabbles and save the game before it's too late?

I certainly am as a writer, because it's becoming increasingly more difficult to cover stories that would not receive any attention under normal circumstances.

At least when Bryant was threatening to take his talents overseas, those rumors were note-worthy because they pertained to basketball.

But alas, Bryant's rumored deal with Turkish team Besitkas fell through due to finances, and a non opt-out clause has killed any chances of Bryant signing with a Chinese team who were looking to protect their investment once the NBA's labor impasse ends.

So in the wake of those developments, NBA fans in general and Lakers fans in particular are left to grasp at any news at all that is available, and unfortunately most of it has been like the stories mentioned above.

Bryant's star-crossed reputation, along with his bank account, is likely to take a hit due to his latest infraction, but in the absence of any on-court news the incident will probably receive much more coverage than it should.

The lockout will have to end eventually, but until it does, fans and writers alike will be left to grasp at anything that their favorite players are involved in whether it is real news or not.

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