Kobe Bryant Divorce: Does Playboy Model Jessica Burciaga Mark a Trend for Kobe?

Kobe Bryant has had a nightmare of an offseason.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost out on the Chris Paul Sweepstakes, the Dwight Howard trade talks have hit a wall, Lamar Odom was traded to the defending champion Dallas Mavericks and now...this.

On Friday, Bryant's divorce with longtime wife Vanessa was filed.

Bryant and Vanessa, who had been married for decades, first ran into trouble in 2003, when Bryant was charged with sexual assault of a 19-year-old at Lodge & Spa at Cordillera near Vail, Colo. Bryant vehemently denied the charges, but did admit to adultery.

Now, after the divorce papers were filed, MediaTakeOut.com reported that Bryant had been dating playboy model Jessica Burciaga and had been showering her with gifts in the seven figure range.

There is no telling yet whether this report is true. Burciaga went to Twitter to deny the rumors.

But, if anything, this paints Bryant in a bad light in what has already been a troubling time for the 13-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion.

Sadly, you can't help but wonder if the rumors are true, given Bryant has already admitted to adultery during his relationship with Vanessa.

It also could reignite hits to Kobe's legacy, not on the court but off it. When he faced the Denver Nuggets after the 2003 report came out, he was booed and taunted with an arena full of cruel signs playing off his sexual assault charges.

We all know that an athlete's legacy is not only marked by how well he excels in his particular sport, but also by his integrity. You have to wonder if this report taints Bryant's legacy leading up to his inevitable retirement in the next few years.

Bryant is 33 years old now. He's accomplished so much on the court during his time with the Lakers.

But, in the end, it may be the rumors and allegations regarding his personal life that could mar his legendary status with the Laker...

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