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LAKER REPORT

Iverson Opens Up on Bryant

August 15, 2003|Tim Brown

Allen Iverson said Thursday that Kobe Bryant is a victim of his own reputation, one erroneously built by a fawning media.

"I feel like, in this situation, it has to be something, because you can go get Allen Iverson, because Allen Iverson's had brushes with the law before, but to go get Kobe Bryant, 'the squeaky clean human being,' it's got to be something," Iverson, the star guard of the Philadelphia 76ers, said to ESPN.

Bryant has been charged with felony sexual assault on a 19-year-old woman near Eagle, Colo.

"I wasn't shocked at all," said Iverson, who could be a teammate of the Laker guard on next year's U.S. Olympic team. "He's a human being. The media made Kobe Bryant who Kobe Bryant is. The media made him squeaky clean.

"Y'all say he's squeaky clean, but we say he's a human being."

*

The funeral for Karl Malone's mother, Shirley Jackson Malone, who died Wednesday morning of a massive heart attack, will be held Tuesday morning in El Dorado, Ark.

"We don't know what that means for his participation with us," Craig Miller, spokesman for the U.S. Olympic team, said Thursday.

The Olympic team is scheduled to open the qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico on Wednesday night against Brazil. Malone was set to leave with the team when he learned of his mother's death.

*

The Lakers signed forward Koko Archibong, who played for their summer-league team, bringing the club's roster to 17.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak said he would like to add two or three more players to give Coach Phil Jackson sufficient practice bodies for training camp. Veterans report to camp in Honolulu on Oct. 2.

-- Tim Brown

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