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We weren’t the only ones confused when these photos of Kobe Bryant came out in the L.A. Times this week. The whole country seemed to just not get it. Was it offensive or just plain weird? Well, the stylist for the shoot has spoken out on the inspiration behind Kobe’s strange look.

Here’s what James Valeri told the Lakers Blog:

Let’s do it in a cool, young way because that’s what Kobe is. He’s a cool, young and successful athlete. I wanted to give a modern approach. I was thinking of [rapper] Tupac [Shakur] where I put a band underneath in the hat to make it look hip-hop, but … it translates in a surreal look where it creates a strong image. It was something that hasn’t been done before. It’s mixing the inspiration of Tupac and a gentleman with a white hat … a mix of a hip-hop and a conservative look.

Kobe Bryant…Tupac….Kobe Bryant….Tupac. We fail to see the connection here.

Check out the HILARIOUS “Where’s Kobe” story on here!

And in case you didn’t see the photos from the shoot we’re speaking of here’s the photos: