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Posted at 04:29 PM ET, 12/19/2011

Vanessa Bryant follows other NBA wives into divorce court

The NBA season doesn’t start for a couple more days and already there are distractions aplenty for Kobe Bryant.

There’s the blockbuster trade that wasn’t. The arrival in L.A. — with the Clippers — of Chris Paul. And now there’s Bryant vs. Bryant, the divorce.

Citing “irreconcilable differences,” Vanessa Bryant filed Friday to end her 10-plus year marriage to the Los Angeles Lakers star. In a joint statement, the couple said that they had “resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately” and would share physical and legal custody of their 8- and 5-year-old daughters.

Vanessa Bryant’s mother told the Los Angeles Times in 2005 that the couple had no prenuptial agreement and the court filing Friday indicated that property rights were still to be determined, with the final decree expected to be granted next year.

Already, though, the rumors and questions are flying:

Vanessa Bryant and daughters, in 2008 (Mark J. Terrill / AP)
- Who gets custody of that eight-carat, $4-million purple-diamond apology ring? That’s the bling Kobe Bryant gave his wife after he was accused of sexually assaulting a Colorado resort employee (charges were dismissed, but he admitted to consensual relations) in 2003.

- How much is Vanessa Bryant entitled to? The LA Times reports that the couple is worth about $150 million and, in the absence of a prenup, she’d be entitled to half of that as well as considerable spousal support.

- Did Kobe blab about his extramarital exploits to teammates, who blabbed to their wives, who blabbed to Vanessa?

At least Vanessa Bryant has plenty of company in the high-profile, basketball-wives splitsville department. Actress Eva Longoria divorced Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs over reports that he was cheating with a teammate’s wife. Shaquille and Shaunie O’Neal divorced in 2010 as well; in 2008, O’Neal rapped: “I’m a horse, Kobe ratted me out, that’s why I’m getting divorced.” And there’s the brief union of Kris Humphries of the New Jersey Nets and reality-show star Kim Kardashian.

By those standards, the Bryants had a pretty good run.

By  |  04:29 PM ET, 12/19/2011

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