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Charles Barkley says Kobe Bryant SHOULD be remembered for 2003 rape allegation AND his NBA career

Amid an ongoing public debate over Kobe Bryant‘s dual legacies, Hall of Famer Charles Barkley told NBC’s Today that the deceased Los Angeles Lakers legend should be remembered both for his basketball career and for the sexual assault allegations levied against him when he was 24.

‘You have to tell the picture in totality,’ Barkley said while being interviewed ahead of this weekend’s All-Star Game in Chicago. ‘We’re not making Kobe out to be no hero. We’re celebrating his basketball excellence. We understand what happened in Colorado. That’s fair, but two things can be true.’

Bryant was accused of sexual assault by a 19-year-old female hotel employee in Colorado, where he was scheduled to undergo knee surgery in the summer of 2003. He did not deny cheating on his wife, Vanessa, but did claim the sexual encounter was entirely consensual. The accuser refused to testify at trial, prompting prosecutors to drop the charges against Bryant, but the two did settle a civil lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.

The topic has resurfaced following the recent helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others. CBS’ Gayle King, for one, took intense criticism for asking WNBA legend Lisa Leslie about the 2003 sexual assault allegations during an on-air interview.

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Amid an ongoing public debate over Kobe Bryant's dual legacies, Charles Barkley told NBC's Today that the deceased Los Angeles Lakers legend should be remembered both for his basketball career and for the sexual assault allegations levied against him when he was 24

Amid an ongoing public debate over Kobe Bryant's dual legacies, Charles Barkley told NBC's Today that the deceased Los Angeles Lakers legend should be remembered both for his basketball career and for the sexual assault allegations levied against him when he was 24

Amid an ongoing public debate over Kobe Bryant’s dual legacies, Charles Barkley told NBC’s Today that the deceased Los Angeles Lakers legend should be remembered both for his basketball career and for the sexual assault allegations levied against him when he was 24

Kobe Bryant (left) with wife Vanessa at Staples Center press conference in 2003, following allegations that he sexually assaulted a 19-year-old female hotel employee in Colorado

Kobe Bryant (left) with wife Vanessa at Staples Center press conference in 2003, following allegations that he sexually assaulted a 19-year-old female hotel employee in Colorado

Kobe Bryant (left) with wife Vanessa at Staples Center press conference in 2003, following allegations that he sexually assaulted a 19-year-old female hotel employee in Colorado 

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Speaking with NBC, Barkley did not avoid the topic, as Leslie had with King.

‘Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players ever,’ said the 56-year-old Barkley. ‘And he had a flaw that we all know about.’

In response to the uproar, Hall of Famer and former Lakers star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote about Bryant’s complicated legacy in a piece for The Hollywood Reporter, effectively agreeing with Barkley. 

‘We can love and respect Kobe without canonizing him as perfect,’ the six-time NBA champion wrote. ‘Death often immortalizes the ideal rather than the real. But it was the real Kobe, flaws and all, that we should love.’

Abdul-Jabbar also took aim King’s critics such as rappers 50 Center and Snoop Dogg, the latter of whom threatened her by saying, ‘back off before we come get you.’ 

‘Snoop Dogg has 39.1 million followers on Instagram and 50 Cent has 25.3 million followers on Twitter,’ Abdul-Jabbar wrote. ‘When they send out to their followers a threatening and abusive tirade, they are influencing a younger generation of men to continue to refer to women who don’t do what men want as bitches. 

‘Worse, King started receiving death threats.’ 

Snoop Dogg has since apologized for overreacting to the questions directed at Leslie, and King has publicly forgiven him. 

Barkley (far left) was interviewed alongside his Inside the NBA co-stars, TNT announcer Ernie Johnson (near left) as well as former NBA players Kenny Smith (near right) and Shaquille O'Neal (far right), the latter of whom played alongside Bryant in Los Angeles

Barkley (far left) was interviewed alongside his Inside the NBA co-stars, TNT announcer Ernie Johnson (near left) as well as former NBA players Kenny Smith (near right) and Shaquille O'Neal (far right), the latter of whom played alongside Bryant in Los Angeles

Barkley (far left) was interviewed alongside his Inside the NBA co-stars, TNT announcer Ernie Johnson (near left) as well as former NBA players Kenny Smith (near right) and Shaquille O’Neal (far right), the latter of whom played alongside Bryant in Los Angeles

Barkley was interviewed alongside his Inside the NBA co-stars, TNT announcer Ernie Johnson as well as former NBA players Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal, the latter of whom played alongside Bryant in Los Angeles.

While O’Neal and Bryant did win three titles as Lakers teammates, their time together will also be remembered for infighting between the laid-back center and the famously competitive guard.

However, while speaking with NBC, O’Neal downplayed the feud, likening it to typical workplace friction.

IHall of Famer and former Lakers star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (far right with Bryant) wrote about Kobe's complicated legacy in a piece for The Hollywood Reporter: 'We can love and respect Kobe without canonizing him as perfect. Death often immortalizes the ideal rather than the real. But it was the real Kobe, flaws and all, that we should love'

IHall of Famer and former Lakers star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (far right with Bryant) wrote about Kobe's complicated legacy in a piece for The Hollywood Reporter: 'We can love and respect Kobe without canonizing him as perfect. Death often immortalizes the ideal rather than the real. But it was the real Kobe, flaws and all, that we should love'

IHall of Famer and former Lakers star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (far right with Bryant) wrote about Kobe’s complicated legacy in a piece for The Hollywood Reporter: ‘We can love and respect Kobe without canonizing him as perfect. Death often immortalizes the ideal rather than the real. But it was the real Kobe, flaws and all, that we should love’

‘A lot of people thought we had problems,’ said the 47-year-old O’Neal, whose 20-year-old son Shareef had a brief text message exchange with Bryant in the hours before the fatal helicopter crash.

‘It wasn’t real-life problems,’ O’Neal said. ‘It was just – you know, same problems that me and Charles have, same problems that me and Kenny have when we’re at work.

‘But the key thing we have for each other is respect. I tell people, after we won our first championship, who is the little guy that jumped in my arms? Roll the tape.’

At that point, NBC rolled footage of O’Neal and Bryant celebrating their victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of the 2000 NBA Finals.

‘So, once we figured it out, that that’s all that mattered to me,’ Shaq added.

Bryant and Gianna were buried last week in a private ceremony near the family’s Newport Beach, California home.

There is a scheduled memorial service for the two scheduled at Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 24. 

O'Neal downplayed the feud with Bryant, likening it to average workplace friction

O'Neal downplayed the feud with Bryant, likening it to average workplace friction

O’Neal downplayed the feud with Bryant, likening it to average workplace friction

CBS’ GAYLE KING ACCEPTS APOLOGY FROM SNOOP DOGG OVER LISA LESIE INTERVIEW  

By Jack Elsom, for MailOnline.com  

Gayle King has accepted Snoop Dogg’s apology for publicly berating her after she dredged up Kobe Bryant‘s rape allegations in the wake of the basketball star’s death.

In a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday, the CBS anchor said she understood the ‘raw emotions’ Bryant’s death caused. 

‘I accept the apology and understand the raw emotions caused by this tragic loss. As a journalist, it is sometimes challenging to balance doing my job with the emotions and feelings during difficult times.

‘I don’t always get it perfect but I’m constantly striving to do it with compassion and integrity,’ she said. 

The latest: Snoop Dogg, 48, on Wednesday said he was sorry to Gayle King, 65, over his mercurial reaction to her reporting on his late friend Kobe Bryant

The latest: Snoop Dogg, 48, on Wednesday said he was sorry to Gayle King, 65, over his mercurial reaction to her reporting on his late friend Kobe Bryant

A look back: In his initial outburst against King, the rap stalwart expressed his outrage at King for what he implied was a bias in who she reported on, and how she did it

A look back: In his initial outburst against King, the rap stalwart expressed his outrage at King for what he implied was a bias in who she reported on, and how she did it

Snoop Dogg, 48, on Wednesday said he was sorry to Gayle King, 65, over his mercurial reaction to her reporting on his late friend Kobe Bryant

The dispute began when CBS teased a clip of King’s interview with WNBA legend Lisa Leslie – one of Bryant’s friends – which showed King pushing her to address the 2003 rape allegation against Bryant. 

Leslie resisted, saying it was inappropriate. It was a small part of a wide-ranging interview which had already aired when the CBS This Morning Twitter account posted the clip. 

Fans including 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and even Bill Cosby rushed to condemn King. She received death threats and had to travel with security in the aftermath of it. 

Furious, King took to Instagram to say the clip had been taken out of context and that she would raise it with CBS. 

The row, however, rumbled on. 

Snoop Dogg’s comments were among the most inflammatory. 

Flashpoint: The rapper said he was wrong in launching into a diatribe against the CBS correspondent after she asked WNBA icon Lisa Leslie how the 2003 rape allegation

Flashpoint: The rapper said he was wrong in launching into a diatribe against the CBS correspondent after she asked WNBA icon Lisa Leslie how the 2003 rape allegation

Flashpoint: The rapper said he was wrong in launching into a diatribe against the CBS correspondent after she asked WNBA icon Lisa Leslie how the 2003 rape allegation

He said branded King a ‘funky, dog-haired b****’, demanding she ‘back off before we come get you.’

The rapper – real name Calvin Broadus Jr –  later backtracked and apologized for the remarks.   

Her acceptance draws a line under the war of words started by Snoop Dogg in an emotionally charged video to his 39million followers.

The rapper, 48, said: ‘What do you gain from that? I swear to god, we the worst.

‘We the f***** worst. We expect more from you, Gayle, why y’all attacking us? We your people! 

‘You ain’t come after f***** Harvey Weinstein, asking them dumb-a** questions. I get sick of y’all.’

But on Wednesday the rapper said that he ‘overreacted,’ adding, ‘I should have handled it way different than that – I was raised way better than that.’

He added: ‘Two wrongs don’t make no right; when you’re wrong, you gotta fix it.

‘So with that being said, Gayle King, I publicly tore you down by coming at you in a derogatory manner based off of emotions, me being angry at questions that you asked

The rapper said he had been trying to defend his late friend who died in a helicopter crash last month.  

The rapper wrote in the caption of an Instagram post: ‘Had a talk with my momma thank u mamma … 2 wrongs don’t make it right time to heal @gayleking Peace n love Praying for u and your family as well as Vanessa and the kids.’  

King last week said on social media that CBS edited a teaser clip of the chat to highlight the most controversial part of a long and thorough discussion on the late NBA standout.

‘I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I would be extremely angry with me too,’ she said. ‘I am mortified. I’m embarrassed and I am very angry. 

‘Unbeknownst to me, my network put up a clip from a very wide-ranging interview, totally taken out of context and when you see it that way, it’s very jarring.’

King’s longtime confidante Oprah Winfrey, appearing on the Today show last week, said King was ‘not doing well’ in the wake of the public attack from the rapper.

‘May I say she is not doing well because she has now death threats, and now has to travel with security, and she’s feeling very much attacked,’ Oprah said. 

‘We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist,’ CBS News President Susan Zirinsky said. 

‘We find the threats against her or any journalist doing their job reprehensible.’ 

Source: dailymail US

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