Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant Divorce: Effort to Save Marriage Shows Kobe's Head Isn't in the Game

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 19: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots a free throw during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on December 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Michael MillSenior Analyst IIIDecember 24, 2011

TMZ has reported that Kobe Bryant hasn't given up on his marriage with Vanessa just yet.

"We're told Kobe is 'deeply depressed' over the situation—and is very concerned about how his daughters will handle growing up in two separate households."

Maybe, as much as he plays it off, Kobe doesn't have his head in the game.

The Los Angeles superstar had his personal life become public a week ago when the couple announced their divorce. Kobe, who seemed level-headed about it at the time, had apparently been unfaithful on multiple occasions to his wife.

Bryant has dealt with big distractions like this his entire career. A few years ago, he had to deal with the rape allegations. However, this is the first time that it's obvious that Kobe is hurting. The divorce is really affecting him mentally.

We often overlook the aspect of mental strength in athletes. Just look at Tiger Woods, for example. After his divorce and the news of his affairs surfaced, his entire career collapsed.

Yes, golf is a more mental game than basketball, but the same effects can occur.

Up until this point, there has been little fear in the Los Angeles area that Bryant would suffer from similar effects. He has always been one of the toughest players mentally in the sporting world. Now it's obvious that there is much more on his mind than the game of basketball.

We'll find out tomorrow if that will have an impact on how he performs on the court when the Lakers take on the Chicago Bulls.

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