Much has been made in the aftermath of Gayle King’s interview with WNBA legend, Lisa Leslie on CBS This Morning.
For those keeping score at home: On Tuesday, King asked Leslie about Kobe Bryant’s legacy because of his 2003 rape charge.
“It’s been said that his legacy is complicated because of a sexual assault charge,” King said to Leslie.
“Is it complicated for you as a woman, as a WNBA player?”
“It’s not complicated for me at all,” answered Leslie.
“I just never have ever seen him being the kind of person that would do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way. That was just never the person that I know.”
Charges were dropped in Bryant’s criminal case on Sept. 1, 2004, after his accuser wouldn’t testify. Bryant and the woman settled the civil lawsuit case out of court in 2005.
Timing in King’s line of questioning has been questioned. Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday, January 26, 2020, while en route with his daughter and seven other passengers to a basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.
Rapper, Barry Bondz tweeted: “You be ashamed of yourself for bringing that question up. It be our people to take us down. Now @GayleKing go interview Harvey Weinstein. Let me see that interview.”
The comment was echoed throughout social media all day but Bondz’ comment was the one that caught King’s attention. “Hey Barry .. your tweet was sent to me first not ashamed it’s a fair question .. second I wanted to make sure people saw Lisa’s answer she said what many are thinking … I’m glad you weighed in,” she replied.
Barry Bondz, a native of Newark, Jersey, Bondz’s body of work spans over ten years. He’s been featured in VIBE, The Source, RESPECT, Karen Civil, has written theme songs for CBS and worked with hip hop notables Busta Rhymes, Jim Jones and Joe Budden.
Why respond to Gayle King?
“I felt it was my duty to respond,” Barry Bondz told me via text message Monday evening.
“This has been going for a long time. Actually, the Russell Simmons situation caught my attention first; the one that Oprah was involved with. She ended up not doing the documentary on Russell, but my thing was: ‘why did it have to be him?’ Now this Kobe Bryant situation comes about and she has the nerve to bring up his past during a time like this.No remorse for his family. His wife and kids just took a major hit; father and daughter gone at once. Why couldn’t she speak about his legacy? It’s not a black or white thing, but I will say this: ‘We don’t take care of our own. We take each other down. The others take care of each other.’ It’s always black on black. A million things to bring up about his legacy and you bring up a charge that was thrown out? Amazing! I can bring up many black celebs that were accused of bad things, but where is the Harvey Weinstein talk? Let’s talk about Matt Lauer. Let’s get a Kevin Spacey interview. Prayers go up to Kobe’s family. Nobody is perfect but we have to do better. That’s all I’m saying!”
Kobe Bryant is the NBA’s fourth-highest scorer behind LeBron James, who has 33,643 points. A five-time NBA Finals MVP award winner, Bryant was the NBA’s regular-season MVP in 2008, a four-time NBA All-Star MVP, two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist, an NBA Slam Dunk Champion, 11-time All-NBA First Team recipient and two-time NBA scoring champion. He wore numbers 8 and 24, both of which were retired by the Los Angeles Lakers organization.
Gayle King has responded to critics by stating: “I understand why people are upset seeing that clip out of context,” she told USA Today.
“I hope they will now watch the entire wide-ranging interview. We asked a longtime friend of Kobe Bryant’s to talk to us about his legacy and their friendship and Lisa Leslie did exactly that.”