Here in SoCal, there's an unwritten set of rules governing when and how you can take photos of celebs. They're crafted around the principle that even people who choose to conduct their professional lives in public (actors and athletes, for instance) deserve at least occasional bouts of privacy. If you run afoul of the rules, you'll look like an epic goober, and if the violation is egregious enough you risk getting your ass beaten in a way that will generate precisely no sympathy from anyone.
To avoid such an outcome, please make note of the following....
1. When a celeb is at an event that exists to showcase his or her image to the public (say, a red-carpet movie premiere), it's open season. Snap away.
2. When a celeb is in a semi-public setting that doesn't imply a total expectation of privacy (for instance, on a sidewalk or in the produce aisle of Bristol Farms), you can take a picture or two, but (a) be discreet about it, and (b) realize you may get a nasty glare in response.
3. If it's any kind of private occasion (like if you happen to be at the same party or you see someone at a restaurant enjoying a quiet meal with his or her family), be a decent human being and put the fucking camera away. If you don't, you suck and probably deserve some mild physical retribution.
It seems there's recently been a Rule 3 violation involving Kobe Bryant. Per the LA Times:
San Diego police are investigating an allegation that Lakers star Kobe Bryant was involved in altercation with a man at local church, according to a news report by KCBS-TV Channel.
The incident occurred Sunday at St. Therese of Carmel Church in Carmel Valley, when Bryant allegedly grabbed a cellphone from the man who sustained an injury to his wrist, according to the report.
Several parishioners, thankfully, have voiced the common-sense opinion that perhaps church isn't the best place to get that shot of Kobe you've been waiting for your whole life.
Bryant reportedly became concerned that a young man was taking his picture, police said. During a confrontation at the back of the church, Bryant may have grabbed the man's phone, police said.
The incident occurred at St. Therese of Carmel Church in the upscale neighborhood of Carmel Valley. Several parishioners on Tuesday told Fox 5 San Diego that Bryant and his family deserved privacy when in the church.
"Churches are not the place for photos - outside perhaps, but not in church," one church member told the station.
"I don't think they should take photos of people in church. I mean, it's a private place," another member agreed.
Bryant, seeing no pictures on the man's phone, returned the phone to the man and, with several friends, left the church before the service was completed, police said. The man, as yet unidentified, later went to a hospital with what is described as a minor wrist sprain.
Look, dude: Kobe Bryant isn't the Loch Ness Monster. We know what he looks like. Getting a picture of him in a suit sitting on a church pew isn't the scoop of the century and isn't going to impress anyone worth impressing. Besides, church is no place for such foolishness. You're lucky it was just a minor wrist sprain and not a bolt of lightning.
Follow Dex on Twitter @dexterfishmore.