Bryant sometimes distracted, scared amid sex assault case

Friday, December 26th 2003, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is sometimes distracted and sometimes scared as he fights a felony sexual assault charge in Colorado, he said in an interview Thursday night.

``You're just ... living in a nightmare and just can't really wake up out of it,'' Bryant said in the interview broadcast on ABC-TV at halftime of the Houston Rockets-Lakers game in Los Angeles. Houston won, 99-87.

Bryant, 25, is charged with attacking a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort last June. He has said the two had consensual sex.

Asked if he has trouble keeping his mind on basketball during games, Bryant said: ``Sometimes it wanders and I have to try to bring myself back to center. It's human nature, I guess.''

He said he is sometimes ``a little bit'' scared.

``If you can't control, you just kind of have to let it go. And at times that can be extremely difficult but, you know, you do it,'' he said.

Despite the distractions, Bryant scored the winning basket as time ran out in a game against the Denver Nuggets in Los Angeles on Dec. 19 after missing the first quarter to attend a court hearing in Eagle.

At that hearing, the judge met privately with attorneys arguing over whether the medical history of Bryant's accuser should be allowed as evidence.

Bryant is scheduled to return to Eagle for another hearing on Jan. 23.

He faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation if convicted.

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