During his Hall of Fame caliber career in the NBA, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has put on some amazing displays of athleticism with high-flying dunks and incredible hustle on the defensive end of the basketball floor.
Unfortunately, despite winning five NBA titles for his efforts over the years with the Lakers, Kobe has also had to literally pay for his defensive intensity.
Reportedly, Kobe has just settled a lawsuit with a courtside fan, Bill Geeslin, for a collision during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies back in 2005. Apparently, Kobe dove into the courtside seats for a loose ball and Geeslin claims that the NBA veteran assaulted him.
Geeslin proceeded to sue Kobe for a total of an excess of $75,000. As ridiculous as it sounds, Kobe was forced to settle the suit for an undisclosed amount in order to finally make the situation disappear after seven years of nonsense from Geeslin.
The insurance agent Geeslin claims the following during the deposition about the incident with Kobe via Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk:
“Felt like a human punching bag.”
Unfortunately for Geeslin, he won’t be able to reap the benefits of the settlement as he passed away two months after the incident. Even though Geeslin claims that he sustained a bruised lung cavity as a result of the collision with Kobe, his death had nothing to do with the injury. Geeslin’s estate continued to pursue the lawsuit after his death.
It just goes to show that anyone can be sued for anything these days and big-name athletes like Kobe are targets for any kind of lawsuit even while on the basketball floor. The biggest problem with this lawsuit being settled is the potential for players in any sport with fans near the action becoming reluctant to go all-out and unafraid of diving in the stands.
As if the risk of injury wasn’t enough to avoid jumping out of bounds for a loose ball, now players must deal with potential lawsuits from fans as well.
In case you missed it – Dwight Howard’s introductory press conference with the Lakers!