Brooks clues me in to the apparent reality that Kobe Bryant’s apology jewelry fund was not enough to keep his marriage to Vanessa going, pointing to a report from KCBS that they may be doing the old Tammy Wynette fairly soon (and most of that report is cribbed from Media Takeout):
The source close to the couple has stated, “There’s very little for [Kobe and Vanessa] to fight over. Since there was no pre-nuptial agreement, Vanessa’s entitled to half the marital assets … Besides, Kobe stands to make a lot more money in the years to come – and that will be all his (MediaTakeOut.com).”
Kobe Bryant has had a very lucrative basketball career, to say the least, and is estimated to have earned nearly $200 million.
This is, of course, community property and subject to the conditions of the settlement. However, at this point in Kobe’s career the best may yet to come.
I’m not sure quite how that last sentence pans out. How is the best yet to come for Kobe — that is, unless he’s dealt somewhere else? He’s still at his physical game peak — he’s nowhere close to leaving that for another few years. As far as endorsements and pop cultural cache go for athletes, there’s no going back to the potential status he had prior to the rape accusations and the very public dissolution of his relationship with Shaq, so we have to assume that the concept of making a lot more has to do with his contract with the Lakers and his shoe deal (even at his peak with Sprite and all that, Kobe was never what LeBron could be and is, endorsement-wise).
But, as far as his actual career goes, he will either need to be traded or sign on with a team that has a shot at winning, because that isn’t the Lakers with Mitch Kupchak at the helm, who couldn’t or wouldn’t give up the chips necessary for Kevin Garnett, and isn’t likely to do it for Jermaine O’Neal. Likely scenario: opt out in ’08 and then engineer a sign-and-trade, but who will mortgage their future to get him? Trading to equal out would require way too much. Right now, it’s tough to imagine Kobe ever winning another championship ring, and if he does, it’s not happening in Los Angeles.
That said, how did #24 get married without a pre-nup? He’d already been in the League four years and didn’t get the real-world equivalent of the Miles Massey* pre-nup when he got hitched?
(*I’m pretty sure I was one of the few people who liked Intolerable Cruelty a lot.)
UPDATE: KCBS has taken the report down, according to Brooks.