Earlier this week, Charles Barkley made some comments on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that has stirred up some talk in the sporting world.
Barkley was discussing the news that Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa are getting a divorce.
He doesn't think that fans are going to go lightly on Bryant with the emerging news that he was unfaithful to his wife.
"I really like Kobe; I wish him all the best...but of course the fans are cruel. They're going to be shouting stuff at him. He's going to have to deal with that."
The comments have started some debate as to exactly how fans will treat Kobe and how he will react to the criticism.
We all saw what happened with Tiger Woods when the media and fanbase turned on him after reports that he was unfaithful.
In general, we aren't very forgiving people. We speak our minds and let our voices be heard about things that really aren't our business.
Barkley is right. People are going to be on Bryant's case.
The real question is how he is going to respond. Barkley is confident he will be OK.
"He's so strong, mentally. I think he'll be fine."
It's hard to argue with Barkley. Kobe has always been known for his mental toughness on and off the court but, then again, so was Tiger Woods.
Right now, I think it's safe to say that Bryant will respond fine to the criticism. He has faced it earlier in his career with the rape allegations.
I think the bigger concern with Kobe is the torn ligament in his wrist.
Bryant never misses games. He has always battled through injuries his entire career. This likely won't be any different.
The physical battle for Kobe is a bigger battle right now than the mental one.
In the long run, Bryant should be just fine with both.