Kobe Bryant thinks he's bigger than the mayor of Los Angeles. And you know what? He's right. Divas don't share the spotlight with anyone.
L.A. somehow scraped together enough cash for a victory parade this week, but it started an hour late. Whence the delay? A catfight between Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (best known for nailing not one, but two local reporters) and Kobe over who would receive the undiluted hosannas of Angelenos:
The cause of the hold-up was occurring adjacent to the locker room, where Kobe was refusing to ride on the City Council bus because the mayor was to ride on it. At the same time, the mayor, the consummate spotlight thief, was refusing to get on the City Council bus unless he got on with Kobe. Kobe loudly denounced the mayor in phrases that started with "I don't like the …" and ended with "I'm not going to let him pimp my popularity!"
A compromise was reached when...well, a compromised was never reached. Kobe boarded the bus, and his teammates sneaked the mayor on behind his back. That's him above, the tiny little man in the fuschia tie.
But wait, there's more!
As the team bus approached Georgia Street, it was greeted by about 100 city workers who had labored throughout the previous day and night preparing the Coliseum for the rally. The bus stopped in front of them and the hard-working crew went ballistic for the team and shouted and cheered like they'd lost their minds. Then the mayor popped up from among the players and waved to the group, which suddenly turned silent, as if a spigot had been turned off.
Then, people in the Coliseum who knew nothing about the outside bus dust-up and the Georgia Street snub, had their own tale to tell: They say the mayor introduced the members of the team and after he introduced Kobe, he extended his hand for the customary shake and Kobe strode right past him ignoring the outstretched hand.
Now, all this info is coming from something called the Los Angeles Wave, so, grain of salt and all that. But does this sound particularly out of character for either of them?