Vanessa Bryant: Divorce Hardly a Surprising Result for Kobe’s Turbulent Marriage

Excuse me if I'm not surprised that Kobe Bryant and his soon-to-be-ex-wife Vanessa are headed for Splitsville. Anyone who's followed the marital misanthropy of the Los Angeles Lakers' superstar will tell you this relationship's been on the rocks for quite a while.

If anything, it's more surprising that the two stuck together for as long as they did.

Their marriage was practically doomed from the get-go, the result of a courtship awash in controversy. Vanessa was just 17 when she first met the then-21-year-old Black Mamba.

The two youngsters dated for just six months before he popped the question, at which point she withdrew from school at Marina High in Huntington Beach to dodge the media scrutiny that had sprung up around her.

Kobe and Vanessa tied the knot in April 2001 in a ceremony from which Bryant's parents, his sisters, his agent and his Lakers teammates were noticeably absent. Thus began a two-year estrangement between Kobe and his parents, who disapproved of their son's decision to marry so young and outside of his own race.

With all of that hullabaloo floating about the couple's inauspicious beginnings, it came as something of a shock when the two didn't break it off amidst Kobe's sexual assault fiasco in Colorado just two years later.

Kobe eventually admitted to an adulterous encounter with his accuser, Katelyn Faber, but insisted that everything that took place was consensual.

Of course, that admission did little to assuage Vanessa's discomforts. Hence, the Mamba dropped $4 million on a diamond ring to keep her happy and threw her a private re-commitment ceremony in 2005 for a relatively modest $50,000.

The rest of the time, Vanessa remained on Kobe's back burner, with his focus fixed firmly on winning NBA titles and becoming one of the greatest players in basketball history.

Kobe will undoubtedly try to save his marriage once more. He'll throw ...

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