Kobe Bryant was among players who met with union officials to talk NBA lockout in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger, the Lakers star gave a strong speech urging the group to stand together in solidarity as the stoppage rolls on.
Before a star-studded audience of about 75 players in Los Angeles Tuesday, Bryant was "up front" and "deliberate" in a speech in which he urged players to maintain solidarity and "stand behind the union" during the lockout, according to a person who was in attendance.
Kobe is one of the few dozen players who were around for the 1998-99 lockout that cost the league 32 games and All-Star Weekend. One of the key struggles in 1998 was the lack of sober leadership from the player ranks; Patrick Ewing was the president of the union at the time, and there were a number of gaffes attributed to him. The union also saw infighting as resolution came to a head in January 1999.
With Derek Fisher -- a close friend of Kobe's, to be sure -- at the helm now, things look more promising in terms of unity among the players. But time will tell. Berger reports that union officials are attempting to schedule a bargaining session with NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver for next week.