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What's Eating Kobe Bryant?

There is no ultimate good that can come from the invention of the camera. Yeah, sure, you've got pieces of your Bar Mitzvah preserved for eternity, but is it worth the trade off of offering up the most precious of our civil rights?

We are being violated. In the majorest of U.S. cities, cameras hover at every intersection -- they're catching you run a red light, they're catching you walking hand-in-hand with your partner, they're watching you pick your nose. It's only a matter of time before this technology filters to the average American town. And when that happens, it'll be only a matter of time before the cameras start getting pointed at, or in, our homes.

This is something that increasingly terrifies me. Sometime in my life, we will have no more privacy. We will have bartered our right to privacy, an invaluable good, with the misguided notion that it will assuage our paranoia (about the presence of terrorists, muggers, and guys who pick their nose). But it will not. It'll just force us to be paranoid about something else.

All of this is a long-winded way to say that I feel sorry for Kobe Bryant. Mamba spouted off against his team and, in particular, teammate Andrew Bynum, to a group of mysterious personas. Mamba was filmed unknowingly, assumedly on a phone, when he said these things. Now, said mysterious personas are looking to cash in, already having been rejected by the Lakers and ESPN as it pertains to buying rights for the video.

"Are you kidding me?" Bryant says in the video before using several profanities in adding that the Lakers should "ship out" Bynum.

Bryant also spoke in negative tones about Kupchak.

OK, so people have to be more aware that there is no such thing as confiding with someone anymore. When you tell somebody something, you're also telling the readers of their blog, the people who check out their YouTube videos, the ones who visit their MySpace page, and any other curious listeners-in. This problem multiplies when you're Kobe Bryant. As a seemingly aware, well-grounded person, Bryant should be cognizant of the fact that even the littlest people have enormous national exposure, and that around the corner there are men, like the ones trying to sell this video, who want nothing more than to exploit him.

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.