The stylist responsible for dressing NBA star Kobe Bryant in those dreadful, borderline racist L.A. Times photo shoot images has reacted to the widespread criticism of the photos.

It's clear that the L.A. Times wanted exactly the type of response these pics elicited from the public or they wouldn't have gone to the trouble of Photoshopping Kobe's pictures beyond recognition.

The stylist, one James Valeri, gamely took the heat for the insulting, unflattering photos of Kobe. But in reality, these images are not the stylist's fault. Whoever Photoshopped the pics are to blame, not the stylist.

When a loyal reader emailed the pics to me, I initially thought it was a prank. Kobe can't be happy with the way these pictures turned out. I doubt he will sit for another photo shoot any time soon.

Here's what Valeri had to say about the concept and the wardrobe choices:

On the project's concept
The concept was about shooting everything in white. That was Ruven's idea [photographer Ruven Afanador]. But I wanted to do something more modern and less conventional and less cliched. ... It's a more modern silhouette. It's not like, 'Let's just put Kobe in a pair of pants and a shirt or in a suit.' The clothing is all layered.

On the negative reactions
The scarf picture and the hat picture were more to create an iconic image. When you do a portrait, you do think of the styling in how they're going to be different and how they're going to stand out. In 10 years time, or five years time, there has to be something particular or strange or different that will stand out. That image will stay in your mind. That's how it's going to become iconic. ... A lot of people aren't used to that, so when iconic pictures come out, they're disturbing, insulting, fascinating, it has a strong feeling attached to it, good or bad. Read more...

  • Daisy

    Did anybody hear Rickey and Gary clown this photoshoot a few days ago :rofl:

    Said he looked like the last Pilgrim and the black Mary Magedelene DEAD

    :nono: there is NO explanation/justification regarding this photoshoot NO MA AM

  • Anna

    @Daisy, did you see where they photoshopped him as a Debarge, on Mt Rushmore and Lawrence of Arabia to name a few. It was too funny. The pics are awful.

  • qtipthecat

    I don't get it, but then again I have not had a day off in quite sometime, so i am a little slow this week.

  • Anna

    qtipthecat says:

    I don’t get it, but then again I have not had a day off in quite sometime, so i am a little slow this week.
    ~~
    I'd like to think I am intelligent. I don't think there is anythng to get. It was a sorry photo shoot.

  • KrayZKat

    @Daisy and Anna, :rofl:

    These pictures are horrendous! I didn't even recognize him at first.

    @Anna, why would they photoshop him as a Debarge? He looks nothing like the family at all.

  • ohpretty1

    Daisy says:

    Did anybody hear Rickey and Gary clown this photoshoot a few days ago

    Said he looked like the last Pilgrim and the black Mary Magedelene DEAD
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    *raises hand* Seriously, I pulled over for coffee and waited until they were done.

  • FloridaChick813

    :rofl: @ RWS for photoshopping these pics to he.ll and back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tampa813

    No explanation can help these pix fahreal. He look like a hungry ethopian dressed up in white.

  • FloridaChick813

    I mean, I dont too much think its the scarf and the hat...

    Its his da.mn facial expressions....

    WTH was he thinking????? I'd LOVE to know!!!!!

  • ohpretty1

    Why do I feel like he's looking at me in that first picture?! Tragic! He has one swipe of carmex too many.

  • Anna

    KrayZKat says:

    @Daisy and Anna,

    These pictures are horrendous! I didn’t even recognize him at first.

    @Anna, why would they photoshop him as a Debarge? He looks nothing like the family at all.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    There was a pic w/the Debarge album cover and they stuck Kobe in there w/that white rag on his head.

  • KrayZKat

    Anna says:

    KrayZKat says:

    @Daisy and Anna,

    These pictures are horrendous! I didn’t even recognize him at first.

    @Anna, why would they photoshop him as a Debarge? He looks nothing like the family at all.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    There was a pic w/the Debarge album cover and they stuck Kobe in there w/that white rag on his head.
    ---------------
    OMGosh - :lolol:

  • SugarPieHoneybunn

    I saw these pics days ago and I was wondering shy you didn't post them. How the hell he let someone talk him into this sh*t!!

    AND HIS NAME IS KOBE!!! :wtf:

  • SugarPieHoneybunn

    WHICH RHYMES WITH TOBY!!! My bad LOL

  • Daisy

    @Sugar :rofl:

    @Ohpretty that was one of the days I HATE I sent my the managers offices cause I was HOLLERIN and in tears at my desk :D

  • SugarPieHoneybunn

    Oh she dont even have the pic on here where he is wearing the slave outfit. Tore up shir and shorts and everything. He really was looking like a clean run-away slave. Horrid

  • TSRBenz

    The pic of him with that hat on is hillarious I know even his wife had to laugh he is just lucky he can play basketball

  • ohpretty1

    SugarPieHoneybunn says:

    WHICH RHYMES WITH TOBY!!! My bad LOL

    Oh hell no. That was too funny.

  • http://twitter.com/ms_missy2791 missy

    I read they were trying to go for Tupac with a preppy look.....The description is funny enough.....for me to believe they were actually trying to go or that look...... :eek:

    Poor Kobe I bet they have these pics in the locker room and are clowning the heck out of him..... :lol:

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1335451522 therapist1911

    I don't know about racist or controversail....they are just UGLY! Nothing artistic or timeless about them. Complete and utter FAIL

  • Daisy

    *typo sent=sit

  • http://twitter.com/LaydeeJustice LadyJustice *\o/*

    all he needed was a lolli pop in his mouth. it would have SET IT OFFFF

  • CivilEngineer

    :rofl: I have nothing to say :rofl:

  • spongebobfan

    EPIC F^^KING FAIL @ THESE PICS

  • http://twitter.com/ms_missy2791 missy

    I am glad Kobe did these photos.... :yes: what will I have to laugh at...

    But the Homie Lance gross did a photo- shoot with a wrap on his head....but he had his shirt off...and was looking to dang sexy :yes:

    Kobe doesn't have the body for those clothes nor does he have the face..

    I think he was given his Puritan family members a shout out for real though...

  • SangriaSugar

    :rofl: I can't... :rofl:

    **scrolling back up**

    Kobe looking real unfamiliar in that first pic!!

  • mzvirgo78

    OMG I can't stop laughing!!! :ROTF:

  • shunda

    I am in tears. He looks very HUD

  • Daisy

    Hey Shunda *waves* I sent these pics to one of my cuz who is a Kobe stan and she is still in denial that they are REAL :rofl:

  • Man, I just don’t care™

    This Jack ass *ahem* "photographer" disgraced the greatest basketball player AND the greatest rapper with ONE SHOOT!

    I don't blame Kobe because he couldn't know how the pics would come out before hand.

    What celebrity in their right mind would agree to a shoot with James Valeri now??????

  • Al-Ameera

    Yeah these pictures are an epic fail and Missy gravatar isn't helping any :rofl:

  • Ebony

    I'm happy I can see the mobile site again

    Kobe looks like a cigarette :coffee:

  • Al-Ameera

    But on another note, did anyone see the new Vanity Fair with Drogba and Ronaldo (soccer players) on the cover...good lord they are looking good! They did a tribute to world cut and got like 10 different players in the magazine.

  • Al-Ameera

    Ebbie, did you see our friend Wale on 106 and park yesterday?

  • http://createspace.com/3393054 iscream

    @ ebony booooo to the mobile site. :mad: I hate when I have to click exit mobile site then when I go in to read the comments it puts me right back in. & get yo behind in the corner talking about he looks like a Ciggy. lmao

    Sandra, you haven't given me a Jay post in a while.... :coffee:

    Shut up @Ebony & @Kara Z

  • jazi65

    <<<can't stop laughing long enough to leave a comment

  • FloridaChick813

    But the Homie Lance gross did a photo- shoot with a wrap on his head….but he had his shirt off…and was looking to dang sexy
    ____________

    :yes: :hump:

  • http://www.twitter.com/karazinatl KaraZ

    @iscream, I resent that. You know you need deliverance :coffee:

    So there's an explanation for these pictures? Is it that he's playing lead in a Tyler Perry movie set in slavery times?

  • FloridaChick813

    Man, I just don't care™ says:

    This Jack ass *ahem* “photographer” disgraced the greatest basketball player AND the greatest rapper with ONE SHOOT!
    I don’t blame Kobe because he couldn’t know how the pics would come out before hand.
    What celebrity in their right mind would agree to a shoot with James Valeri now??????
    _____________________

    : blink: Celebrities dont get to see the pics before they are published??? I thought they did :shrug:

  • http://createspace.com/3393054 iscream

    :rofl: @ kara z You're right I need to be delivered right into Mr. Carter's bed :hump:

  • http://www.twitter.com/karazinatl KaraZ

    Al-Ameera says:

    But on another note, did anyone see the new Vanity Fair with Drogba and Ronaldo (soccer players) on the cover…good lord they are looking good! They did a tribute to world cut and got like 10 different players in the magazine.
    -----------------------------------

    The Lord is good... very very good. All kinds of sexy on June 11! Praise HIM

  • http://www.twitter.com/karazinatl KaraZ

    @iscream, I don't even know what to do with you. Welp I guess you will just have to incur the right of the creole high priestess and the rest of her clan. :shrugs:

  • Ms.kaylamomma

    He still looks like a fool :coffee:

  • QueenSJ

    The second picture is just too much.. :homoswitch:

  • Cinnamon Kisses

    :wtf: Tupac???? HELL TO THE NAW...... NEVER!!!!!!!!!! Take that shyt back NOW. I promise....ninjas don't want it. :rofl: annnnnnd I hate yall........(not really...I actually luuubs yall) but yall had me ctfu. Can't stand yall azzez :rofl:

  • Cinnamon Kisses

    Ebony.....a stogie???? :rofl:

  • pointhimout

    and during playoffs. wow Kobe. ammunition for the other teams, that's for sure. kobe takes sexy pics naturally, so seeing these photoshopped or not, are a joke. we know he's sexy as he wanna be. i'll give him a pass on this mistake.

  • Ebony

    @ iscream

    I was getting the mobile site where you have to click out the mobile version #hatedit. Now I get the regular one :)

    And no more Jay Z post. Its time for your intervention :coffee:

  • LadyLew

    I'm gonna have to say I think they would have been hot if they didn't photoshop them to death to make it not even look like him.

  • http://talkingwithtami.com/blog talkingwithtami

    Who said yes to this hotmessness? They need a beat down,it's just all wrong!

  • ELove

    @missy... You're gravatar is Priceless !!!!! :lol:

    Makes me think of the ONE I've seen a couple of years back where someone had a Kobe pic w/ THIS Chester-The-Molester LQQKING Grin and it said "I'm Gonna Rape You" :rofl:

    Oh, And Kobe NEEDS his Azz Whomped for taking these pics (Real...)

    Sir Elton John is Highly-PISSED about these pics, He says:

    "It is a F-ing Travesty that a STR8 Heterosexual MAN can take Better Gay-Pics than the Gayest HOMOS that have strived for this kind of Perfection their Whole ENTIRE Careers !!!" :lol:

  • JFab

    He just killed his career outside of basketball!! This is a hot mess!!

  • MzNisha2u

    hmph!...#wheredeydodatatcauseulookahottdamnmess :nono:

  • http://myspace.com/amax79 AKAtastrophy1908

    oooooh ok. glad he explained the "Iconic" concept. my simple self was just thinking they had a personal beef with Kobe and made him look like a cooning fool on purpose. glad to know that the tangy pics aren't meant to immasculate Kobe or to be a going underground joke in LA. they dressed him in soft drag and Amos and Andy-ish attire to make him ICONIC i guess because is dominance on the court wasn't cutting the mustard. i get it now. thank you!

  • Val

    One of the worst photo shoots of all time. So they shouldnt be expecting to recieve any business from this. smdh

  • Say It Aint So Joe

    LMAO.LMAO.LMAO @ these pics.. The La Times doesn’t have an editor or someone else they could have asked for a second opinion? I don't get why these photos weren’t left on the cutting room floor.....#somebodyshouldlosetheirjoboverthis

  • http://facebook.com/kendra.knowles lilredkk

    ummmm- WTF! Why did he even allow this CRAP to be published

  • misslee21

    This photoshooot was a hot mess, Kobe was wrong for them gay faces tho, cant photoshop that! lol lol

  • UrbanBeauty

    That is WAY too many paragraphs talking about nothing. I'm still waiting for him to explain that "How YOU doin?" look on Kobe's face in ALL the pics...

  • missknowitall

    @KrayZKat

    These pictures are horrendous! I didn’t even recognize him at first.
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    I agree and honestly I didn't look at them to be racist at all I actually found them to be HOW U DOIN. It was just a horrible idea for a photo shoot and it became a horrendous idea once the idea was put into frames.