Earlier this week, ESPN The Magazine published a story about Kobe Bryant that did not paint the Lakers star in a very favorable light. Although they didn't quote Kobe himself in it, The Mag did quote quite a few agents, executives, and anonymous sources within the Lakers organization that ripped Kobe for his role in the recent downfall of the Lakers. If you haven't read it yet, you can check out the piece here.

Kobe himself has apparently read the story—or at the very least, heard about it—and last night after the Lakers played the Suns in a preseason game, he responded to it. And while you'd think that he would be mad about it, he actually downplayed it and didn't seem all that upset about what was in the story. In fact, he more or less shrugged when asked about The Mag story by reporters.

"One thing I've come to understand over the years is that you'll have a bad story that comes out on a Monday and it seems like it's the end of the world and it seems like everybody's taking shots at you," he said. "But time goes by and then you look back on it and it was just a Monday. Then you have another great story that comes out maybe a month later, or something like that, and it's a fantastic story. And then there's a bad story that comes out one month after that. So you understand that it's a cycle, and things are never as good or as bad as they seem in the moment in time…I just kind of roll with it."

Kobe brings up a good point here. By next week, The Mag's story will likely be a distant memory with everyone talking about something else. But still, are we really supposed to believe that Kobe wasn't mad after reading it? And that he won't try to use it as motivation? And that he's just going to "kind of roll with it"? We doubt it. And truthfully, we hope he does use the story to try and prove people wrong, even if he doesn't come out and admit that that's what he's going to do.

[via ESPN Los Angeles]