Sunday, July 20, 2003

Kobe case raises doubt in fans



The Associated Press

LONG BEACH, Calif. -The charge of sexual assault against Kobe Bryant and his admission of infidelity Friday gave pause to fans watching the NBA Summer Pro League at the Pyramid.

"I originally thought it was completely made up," said 14-year-old Kyle Kula. "But after he admitted to committing adultery today, it makes me wonder a little bit."

One fan compared the day to another sad one in Los Angeles Lakers history.

"It reminds me of when Magic Johnson announced he had HIV, because that really surprised me," said David Herrera, 44. "This is probably the second-biggest shock in my life.

"With the image he has on and off the court, it wouldn't seem like he would cheat. And that charges were filed makes it seem more serious. But we'll see how it works out."

Coming out with a statement - his first since being arrested - admitting he committed adultery won points with some fans.

Ross Carter, a 39-year-old Celtics fan, dislikes Bryant as a player but thinks he is telling the truth.

"I'm very glad that he came out and said (he committed adultery)," Carter said. "... He's young. Everyone succumbs to pressure sometime."

While most fans believe a popular player such as Bryant wouldn't need to force himself on a woman, knowing he had an affair has changed his clean image with many.

"That he committed adultery shows that his morals are compromised," said Gina Emery, 42. "It seems like he wouldn't (sexually assault a woman). But, now, anything is possible."

Then again, the promiscuity of NBA players made Bryant's announcement less of a shock.

Even if Bryant eventually is cleared of the charges, the events of Friday will leave a lasting impression on some fans.

"His image is tarnished," said Bob Horito, 43. "I like Kobe. I love him as an athlete. But he's so much in the spotlight that he has to be more careful. Kids look up to these athletes, and hearing this will just break their hearts."




REDS SUNDAY GAME
Astros 6, Reds 3

REDS SATURDAY GAME
Astros 9, Reds 8
Wagner wows 'em in major league debut
Reds Notebook: Haynes hammered 1-2-3

MORE REDS
VOTE: What should the Reds do about Griffey?
Reds Chatter: Junior, we hardly know ya
Reds E-mail: Griffey deserves support
Minor League Report: Pena must play to grow
VOTE: Should Pete Rose be in the Hall of Fame?

MORE BASEBALL
NL Games: Joke's on Phillies' jokester
AL Games: Red Sox steal victory
Hispanics' stride on field not mirrored at top
What Hispanics are saying
Enquirer's Power Ratings
Who's hot; who's not
Baseball Notebook: Player spars with McKeon

BENGALS
5 questions for training camp
Bengals may not return to Georgetown
Daily training camp schedule
Other NFL camp schedules

SOFTBALL
High-tech softball bats add power - and danger
Metro tourney returns this week

BASKETBALL
Local summer league finals today
Cornette savoring Butler run
LeBron hurt in summer league game
Clippers match Miami's offer to Brand

FOOTBALL
Daniels helps Ohio prep stars win Big 33 game
Swarm lose season finale
Arena Football player dies at game

LOCAL SPORTS
Familiar foes in Met tennis final
Local Sports Digest

SEABISCUIT: THE MOVIE
Seabiscuit races back into the spotlight
Seabiscuit raced at River Downs in its heyday

PAGE TWO FEATURES
Thumbs up; thumbs down
Somebody up there likes Deion

BRITISH OPEN & OTHER GOLF
Updates of today's final round
Today's tee times, Saturday's scores
Bjorn leads Tiger and all-star cast
Roe, Parnevik are disqualified
Notebook: Ohioan Curtis up among stars
Lowery cruising in B.C.

KOBE BRYANT
Guilty or not, Kobe taking image hit
Kobe case raises doubt in fans

TOUR DE FRANCE
Updates of today's stage
Ullrich closes Armstrong's gap

MOTOR SPORTS
Edwards, sponsor hurt by sanctions
Green holds on for Busch Series win
Barrichello nabs pole for British Grand Prix

TV-RADIO
Sports on TV-Radio