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Kobe Bryant divorce will inspire fan taunts, Charles Barkley warns

December 22, 2011 | 10:06 am

Former basketball star Charles Barkley appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" this week and sounded off on a multitude of topics, including Kobe Bryant's pending divorce.

Leno mentioned reports that Vanessa Bryant was tipped off to her husband's alleged dalliances by other basketball wives. He asked Barkley whether there would be trust lost between teammates as a result.

"That’s never good for a team," Barkley said. "You keep your wives and girlfriends away from each other."

PHOTOS: Kobe and Vanessa Bryant through the years

Barkley said Bryant should be prepared for fans shouting their disapproval, but he expects the Laker star to stay focused.

"He's going to have to deal with it, but he's so strong mentally, I think he'll be fine," Barkley said.

Vanessa Bryant filed for divorce in Orange County Superior Court on Friday afternoon, stating her intentions to end her 10-year marriage to the Lakers star. She cited "irreconcilable differences."

In a statement released by their publicist, the couple said a final judgment dissolving the marriage will be filed with the Orange County court in 2012.

"We ask that in the interest of our young children and in light of the upcoming holiday season the public respect our privacy during this most difficult time," they said in the statement. The couple did not have a prenuptial agreement.
-- Kimi Yoshino