*The blogosphere is awash with talk about the stylized fashion photos of Kobe Bryant in LA Times Magazine, and whether one of the images – pictured above – is a little too minstrel-like.

The NBA star’s wardrobe may go along with the article’s title, “Kobe Bryant White Hot.”  But the photo spread is still raising some eyebrows.  A column on the Web site Associated Content calls the above portrait “an uncomfortable homage to blackface minstrels.”

“He looks submissive, subdued and subservient, and not at all the basketball force and man that he truly is,” writes Pam Gaulin in her column. “In the LA Times Lakers blog, the stylist admits that in the photo, clothes were used to create a ‘character.’ Unfortunately for Bryant and everyone else, that character was stereotypical, racist and offensive. The stylist claims to have been attempting to conjure Tupac Shakur. Instead the photos are more reminiscent of Ted Danson and Al Jolson. Styling: Fail.”

Some of Bryant’s fellow Lakers were left a little “befuddled” by his wardrobe. Kobe himself has said that the shots were perhaps a little “too artsy” but he had a “nice time” during the shoot.

Below, more pics from the LA Times Magazine photo spread.