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Charles Barkley said fellow NBA legend Kobe Bryant should be remembered for both his NBA legacy and that 2003 rape case.

Bryant, 41, died in a helicopter crash with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others in Calabasas, California last month.

Barkley told NBC's Today Show that the Los Angeles Lakers great can be remembered for both his NBA achievements and his rape case.

"You have to tell the picture in totality," Barkley said. "We're not making Kobe out to be no hero. We're celebrating his basketball excellence. We understand what happened in Colorado. That's fair, but two things can be true."

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Barkley, who is pictured with Bryant and his wife Vanessa at the 2016 ESPYs, argued that the rape allegations against Bryant should not be ignored just because they make people uncomfortable.

Television journalist Gayle King was dragged on social media after she asked former WNBA star Lisa Leslie about the rape case affecting Bryant's legacy.

Bryant's angry fans included rapper Snoop Dogg, who threatened King and called her a "dog faced b*tch".

Snoop Dogg, 48, has since apologized twice for disrespecting King, 65.

Bryant was accused of raping a 19-year-old desk clerk at a Colorado resort in 2003. The charges were dropped after the woman accepted an out-of-court settlement and refused to testify.