“Feels really disrespectful”: Dodgers face social media backlash after reports reveal Kobe Bryant’s involvement in Shohei Ohtani pitch

Late Kobe Bryant, the basketball legend who left an indelible mark on and off the courts, has once again taken center stage, but this time in the world of baseball. Reports have recently surfaced suggesting that Bryant was heavily involved in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ attempt to pitch Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. While many may have considered this a unique collaboration between two sports icons, the reaction on social media tells a different story.

While some see it as a fitting tribute to Bryant’s impact and legacy in the city of Los Angeles, others argue that this move completely undermines the seriousness of the recruitment process, branding it as a mere publicity stunt.

Dodgers reportedly used Kobe Bryant video for Shohei Ohtani pitch

The Los Angeles Dodgers went above and beyond to secure the coveted double-threat player Shohei Ohtani, even enlisting the help of the late Kobe Bryant.

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Via Marca

In a bid to woo Ohtani, the LA Dodgers presented a six-year-old video message from Bryant, recorded as a favor in their pursuit of the Japanese star. Although Ohtani initially chose to sign with the Angels, this time the Dodgers succeeded in landing him in a monumental 10-year, $700 million contract.’

Ohtani spoke highly of Kobe Bryant’s video, expressing his admiration for the Lakers legend who tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in January 2020. Bryant’s recorded message emphasized that Los Angeles and the Dodgers were unparalleled in terms of winning. Hearing Bryant utter his name left Ohtani in awe and became the deciding factor in his commitment to the City of Angels.

While Ohtani’s contract is the largest in professional sports history, with $68 million of the annual $70 million compensation deferred until the end of the deal, he also rakes in an estimated $50 million in endorsement revenue annually and believed that the deferred payments would allow the Dodgers to acquire more talent within the confines of the luxury tax.

While the motive of the move sounded and showed their respect to the Late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, fans on the internet couldn’t really digest the scenario presented.

NBA Twitter reacts to Dodgers reportedly using Kobe Bryant

NBA Twitter was set ablaze with reactions when news broke that the Los Angeles Dodgers had reportedly used a video of the late basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, in an effort to recruit Japanese baseball sensation, Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani recently signed a massive 10-year, $700 million deal with the Dodgers, cementing his position as the newest star in the City of Angels.

According to reports, the team had secretly held onto a video of Bryant trying to convince Ohtani to join the franchise, which was recorded in 2017 as a favor. Although the two never had the chance to meet, the video had a profound impact on Ohtani when he saw it. “That was one of the highlights of the whole meeting,” Ohtani revealed through his interpreter. “I was really surprised to see it. It was a strong and touching message.”

NBA fans, however, had mixed feelings about the use of Bryant’s video. Some expressed their disappointment, believing it to be disrespectful to his memory.

Kobe Bryant
Via True Blue LA

One fan tweeted, “That feels really disrespectful to me… using Kobe like that.” Others expressed concerns about whether Bryant’s family had been consulted beforehand. “I don’t know how I feel about this. I hope Kobe’s family were asked first,” another fan declared.

As the issue continues to circulate, it remains unclear what exact approach was taken by the LA Dodgers. Nevertheless, fans are hopeful that this can be resolved with a positive outlook and respectful consideration for Kobe’s legacy.

Sami Haider

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Sami Haider is an NBA writer at SportsKnot. His foray into basketball scriptwriting started in 2020, when he was enthralled by the Los Angeles Lakers' NBA championship victory. His previous experience was limited to dribbling and dunking as a neighborhood kid. His insightful writings show how much he loves the sport. His writing goes beyond numbers and scores, giving readers a unique viewpoint on the players, teams, and events that define the basketball scene. Whether you're a die-hard fan or a casual observer, Sami's work is essential for anybody trying to expand their knowledge and love of the NBA.


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