EAGLE, COLORADO (AP) Kobe Bryant, in town to pay some fines for overdue books at the public library, spoke before a group of teens about dating. The 24-year-old Los Angeles Lakers star said, "How you behave when you're out on a date says a lot about what kind of person you are and will become."
The audience, consisting of teenagers from various church youth groups in the area, listened intently as the imposing 6' 6" basketball player talked about how "good dating" prepares a person for a good life.
"The main thing in dating is to find out what kind of person your date is. Ask her about what books she reads. Then you can have a good discussion about them," said Kobe Bryant. "Too many people are only interested in purely physical things when they date."
"Now, take me for an example. Before I was married to Vanessa I used to date girls maybe one or twice a season---when I built up enough nerve to ask one on a date that is. Most of the time I would take my date right here to the library. We would discuss all the philosophy books we found in the stacks. Afterwards we would go out for a Pepsi Cola, and then I would walk her home, shake her hand, and say 'Good night' to her. A few girls felt a little shy about shaking hands on the first date---and I never pressed the issue. When a girl says 'No!' it's best to listen and stop right there."
"After about six dates with other girls, I met Vanessa. I liked the way she discussed Kant and Kierkegaard, but most of all, I like the way she shook my hand at her doorstep. We soon got married, and of course, I never dated any girls since then."
After Kobe Bryant delivered his prepared remarks, he took a question from the audience.
"But Mr. Bryant, what about that woman who said you forced her to do more than just shake hands? What about that big trial and all that scandal that we're all hearing about on television?" asked a young man from the audience.
"That is all just a huge misunderstanding," said Kobe Bryant. "I checked into this hotel, and this lovely young lady carried my bags to the room."
"I offered her a tip, but she said she wanted more than just a tip. I tried to shake her hand and give her my autograph, but she wasn't interested in that at all. It was very embarrassing for me, but I managed to push her out of my room. Then I called my wife Vanessa on the telephone and we talked about Kierkegaard for a while until I got sleepy."
"Oh, Kobe," said the young man, "you've been so misunderstood by all the newspapers. I've learned a lot about dating from you. You're really a swell fellow. You're certainly my hero! You are a great role model for all teenagers who are just beginning to date."
Kobe Bryant's 950-page best selling book "Kobe Bryant's Dating Tips" is published by Alfred Knopf and is available at Amazon and many other fine book retailers.