Turns out, Kobe isn't a victim. He's just an idiot.
Here's what I said last week, regarding the the 24-second clip (enough time for Kobe to dribble around the frontcourt, ignoring the four open guys he could pass to!) of Bryant insulting the Lakers, Andrew Bynum, and Mitch Kupchack:
The real issue in whether or not to fault Kobe for his now-broadcasted rant lies with who these men were. If Kobe's spouting off to a group of fans looking for autographs after the game, shame on him. But if these were guys Bryant's had a relationship with, who he's built a trust with, the fact that he's getting burned should serve as a somber lesson for all of us: a spoken word is never a safe one.
As can be seen plainly above, the filming wasn't done on the sneak. Bryant was aware of what he was doing and the potential ramifications. If you want to be traded, fine. Aren't there better ways to handle it then leaking information to your buddies at ESPN and letting some goombas have 5 minutes of fame from a cell phone video?
Like Paris Hilton, Kobe is using an "unknowingly filmed" (wink-wink) video to promote his larger agenda. Hilton offered her self-respect and dignity to become a star. Bryant offered his to find a new job. The sad thing is that Hilton HAD to film a sex tape to get what she wanted -- she's not good at anything but going down on guys (not that I'm discounting that, by the way, it's certainly a valuable skill in a woman. It's just that giving a great blow job won't typically make you a household name, Monica Lewinsky aside). Bryant has other options -- hell, a nasty holdout is a more respectable tactic -- and chose to lower himself anyway.
It'll be interesting how this all plays out. Bryant will probably get dealt at some point this summer -- the PR cloud hovering above the Staples Center is incredibly ominous now, and is fixing to get worse if Bryant's still on the Lakers roster come October -- but if I were the Lakers, I'd hold onto Bryant and surround him with the most marginal talent available, and let him rot away the life of his contract in misery. Spite could be a powerful tool if harnessed properly.