Vanessa Bryant: Divorce Will Be Another Distraction for Reeling Lakers

Michael Mill@@MikeMill23Senior Analyst IIIDecember 16, 2011

EL SEGUNDO, CA - DECEMBER 11:  Kobe Bryant #24 talks with the media during Los Angeles Lakers Media Day at Toyota Sports Center on December 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Kevin Frazier tweeted moments ago that Vanessa Bryant, wife of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, has filed for divorce.

The news couldn't come at a worse time for the Lakers organization.

The Lakers seem to be crumbling over the last few months.

First, they lost legendary head coach Phil Jackson to retirement. It was expected, but was going to be a hurdle for the team to overcome this season regardless.

Then, they had to deal with the locker-room issues after the voided Chris Paul trade from last week.

The attempted trade caused some real problems in the locker room with players that were supposed to be on their way out of town.

Lamar Odom is gone, but there is still an awkward feeling with Pau Gasol still on the roster.

Now, they will have to deal with the star of the team being distracted by off-court issues and the announced divorce.

It won't just be Kobe that will be distracted. It's likely the media will hound his teammates about the issue that is really not any of their concern.

A few weeks ago everything was running relatively smoothly in Los Angeles.

There were even talks of Chris Paul and Dwight Howard joining the team to form a new Big Three to be feared in the league.

Now, it doesn't look like either player will end up with the Lakers.

Instead of the distractions being ones that are positive, the team is now going to be facing a difficult road for quite some time.

There's no question that Kobe is nearing the end of his career. The aging superstar probably has only a few years left in the tank.

With news of this divorce, one needs to question if that tank will be running on empty by the time this season ends.

How will all of this drama affect the team?

We'll know for sure when the season tips off for the Lakers when they play the Bulls on Christmas Day.