You would think that an All-Star athlete would know better, but obviously NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant doesn’t get it and I highly doubt that a fine is going to help him understand.
This past Friday, the NBA All-Star players were scheduled for mandatory media availability as well as obligated to make an appearance for NBA Cares, a league charity.
According to CBS Sports Eye on Basketball, Bryant failed to make any appearance that morning after reporters waited around for him for about an hour before a league spokesman informed them he wouldn’t be attending due to an illness. However, he wasn’t too sick to attend events later the same day and did manage to meet with reporters the next day.
Media appearances especially for something as vital as charity are part of an athlete’s job and giving back (whether it be attending an event, making a personal donation, or the time spent talking to the media about the charity) should be without question.
As Eye on Basketball so eloquently points out,
According to StoryTellersContracts.com, Bryant’s 2011-2012 salary with the Lakers is $25.2 million, tops in the league. The $40,000 fine represents roughly 1/630 of his salary. The equivalent fine for someone making $50,000 a year would be roughly $79.
What makes this situation more intolerable is the fact that Bryant is so indifferent and defensive when he was asked about it, as usual (from Eye on Basketball):
“What type of question is that to ask me? Are you kidding me?” Bryant said. “Man, I was sick the other day so I didn’t have to hear this.”
Bryant obviously believes and is, perhaps, correct in his belief that he can get away with it. There’s probably no simple answer nor will it likely make a difference since it’s probably not the last time Bryant will do what he wants regardless.
But the NBA believes that fining him $40,000 will help.