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Kobe Bryant verbalizes how he would handle national anthem if he were still playing Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers points in the second quarter of Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

When the NBA season starts in two weeks, plenty of attention will directed to whether players kneel or stand for the national anthem.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has already said the league requires players to stand for the anthem, but that doesn’t necessarily mean players will abide by that rule. Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant appeared on The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast, and he was asked at the 1:05:50 mark during a rapid fire session whether he’d stand or kneel. He didn’t hesitate.

“Kneel.”

Related: The NFL loses a major sponsor following rise in anthem protests from players

Bryant was also asked what he would say to President Donald Trump if he could talk with him.

“Focus on serving, not leading.”

The NBA rule states that players, coaches and trainers must all “stand respectfully” for the anthem, and teams “do not have the discretion to waive this rule.”

Some teams have stood with locked arms during the anthem during the preseason, but it will be interesting to monitor whether some stars decide to kneel once the regular season begins.

If big stars like LeBron James or Steph Curry decide to kneel, it’s hard to imagine the NBA severely punishing them. It’s a divisive issue, and it’s one that isn’t going to die down anytime soon.

(h/t For The Win)

Cole Frederick About the author:
Cole Frederick is from a small town in Alabama, and he graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in journalism. He loves all sports - especially football and basketball - and quotes The Office frequently.
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