Murals of the legendary NBA athlete quickly went up across the country, current players made on-the-court gestures to remember the legend, and Bryant became the only player in NBA history to have two numbers retired.
One thing that largely went unmentioned, however, was the alleged 2003 raping of a then 19-year-old woman.
The criminal charges were dropped before ever going to court, but today (Feb. 14), one prominent voice has spoken out saying that the public can’t choose to just brush this questionable history aside.
NBA Hall of Famer and current Inside the NBA host, Charles Barkley, told TODAY: “Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players ever, and he had a flaw that we all know about. You have to tell the picture in totality.”
The message was met with mixed reactions on social media, with some lambasting the sports broadcaster over bringing up a lawsuit that was eventually dropped and others commending him for his words.
Here we go again. Another moron trying to be cool with the networks ????? Charles Barkley is disgraceful. Hope he gets falsely accused of something very soon
— Shahbanu (@ZoroastersChild) February 14, 2020
Charles Barkley Said WHAT ABOUT KOBE? THE TRUTH THAT’S WHAT! https://t.co/FSx2u0V8YX through @YouTube
— LibertyHowl-PJ Wiemers (@LibertyHowl) February 14, 2020
God is our Judge . I completely disagree with Gayle King & Charles Barkley for completely Disrespecting the Legacy of Mr. Kobe Bryant, his Family, Friends & Fans.Jesus Christ forgave all of our Sins after we Repented. God do not Remember our Sins. Use knowledge in each means potential.#Peace
— Carol McCarthan (@JacqulineLei) February 14, 2020
He’s a CLOWN… He REALLY gonna make me cease watching @NBAonTNT he runs his mouth means an excessive amount of https://t.co/U9pVNc0BA3
— Sherwin Holloway (@BkSherm1) February 14, 2020
Journalists I respect have been shaming folks for mentioning the rape factor after Kobe died. I don’t get it. Kobe was accused of raping a 19 yo and settled out of court docket. Facts. Respect to Charles Barkley for having some rules in an business the place they’re so uncommon.
— Reeebs ? (@bohogypsychic) February 14, 2020
Barkley isn’t the primary individual to convey up this difficulty as the general public continues to mourn the premature loss of life of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Giana.
Shortly following the incident, CBS star Gayle King sparked a feud with rapper Snoop Dogg after she mentioned the “complicated” legacy in an interview with former WNBA star Lisa Leslie.
Following the interview, Snoop Dogg went after King on an Instagram publish, saying: “Why you all attacking us, we your people. You ain’t coming after f**king Harvey Weinstein asking him dumb-ass questions. I get sick of you all.”
However, right this moment, Barkley mirrored King’s views on the late Kobe Bryant.
He admits that he and Bryant weren’t shut, however the information of his passing nonetheless hit dwelling and that he “started crying when I got the news. I felt like I had lost a member of my family.”
Despite that, Barkley stands robust on his stance that Bryant must be held accountable for the rape allegations that resulted in a fee following a civil lawsuit.
“We’re not trying to make Kobe out to be no hero,” Barkley stated. “We’re celebrating his basketball excellence. We understand what happened in Colorado. That’s fair. But two things can be true.”