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"Kobe will get through this"
by Morris O'Kelly / July 15, 2003

- What did you think when you first heard of Kobe Bryant's arrest?

Tex Winter: I think I thought the same as everybody else, complete shock. I see Kobe everyday, and I see how he carries himself and this something completely out of character.

Jim Cleamons: Utter disbelief. I didn’t even believe it at first.

Kurt Rambis: I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know how else to express it.

- How do you think this will affect the Lakers?

Winter: It’s July. The season is a long ways away. We’ll get through this. We support Kobe and believe in him.

Cleamons: I don’t think it will. It’s still too early to say for sure what the situation is or will become.

Rambis: As of now, no charges have been filed. So I wouldn’t want to speculate on something that hasn’t officially even become a tangible issue.

- How do you think it will affect Kobe?

Winter: Everybody knows he’s a fighter. He’ll get through this and then he’ll be able to turn his focus to basketball.

Cleamons: I expect him to continue carry himself with class and eventually put this behind him. After that, since he’s so competitive, I’d expect him to find some way to use this as motivation for the upcoming season.

Rambis: He’ll be fine. He’ll get through this. He doesn’t have to worry about basketball right now, which is a plus. But Kobe will be OK. We all support him.

- What do you think about the delay in charges being filed?

Winter: I really don’t know what to think other than it’s strange.

Cleamons: I would hate to think that Kobe’s name would be dragged through the mud for no reason if charges aren’t ultimately filed; but at the same time if the delay means that they’re being very careful, that’s OK too.

Rambis: Again, I’d rather not speculate. I think all of us can better form an opinion when we know exactly what this is all about.

Morris O'Kelly is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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