As the Los Angeles Lakers‘ coaching search continues, a question lingers: are the Lakers making a mistake not consulting with Kobe Bryant during the search?
The Lakers recently re-signed Bryant to a two-year $48.5 million contract extension, making him the highest paid player in the NBA for the next two years. The Lakers clearly feel that Bryant can still play at high level and they would like to build around him as best as possible. If that’s the case, it only makes sense that the Lakers ask Bryant for his opinion on the matter.
Bryant had zero input when the Lakers hired both Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni and both hirings were obviously failures. The Lakers need to bring in a coach that not only demands, but also commands respect from his players, including Bryant. The dissension between D’Antoni and Bryant was clear as they barely communicated after Kobe hung it up for the remainder of the season.
There are some who will say that Bryant is just a player and thus should not have any decision on what goes on with the franchise. Byrant, however, is not your typical player. It can be argued that Byrant is not only the greatest Laker of all time but also one of the best players to ever play the game. During his time away from playing this season Bryant was practically an assistant coach doing his best to help his teammates as the Lakers struggled to one of their worst seasons in franchise history.
Lakers owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak have already compiled an extensive list of coaching candidates that include George Karl, Stan Van Gundy and Byron Scott to name a few, but it is imperative that the Lakers take Bryant’s temperature to see how he feels about the next coach.
Remember Bryant is not the one making the decision here, it would just do the Lakers some good to check in with the guy who has helped them win five championships.
As of right now, it seems as if the Lakers have not approached Bryant on the matter.
Kobe to @jimmykimmel on if Lakers run coaches by him: “No, well in the last two they didn’t, so on the third one I’m hoping they do.”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) May 9, 2014