Kobe Bryant is the highest paid player in the NBA in addition to being one of the best to ever play the game. Bryant is a five-time champion and 16-time All-Star as well. A person with that type of resume usually has carte blanche to do whatever he or she pleases and for Bryant, that is normally the case. Unfortunately for Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said there is one thing that Bryant will not be doing, picking the next coach of the Lakers.
Due to failures of past coaches Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni, Bryant has made it clear that he would like to be involved in the new head coach search. Bryant even went on the Jimmy Kimmel show and spoke about his desire to be apart of the process saying that he hopes that the Lakers include him in the process.
Kupchak, who is currently in Chicago, was asked about Bryant’s participation in the head coach search and had this to say, according to ESPN.
“From time to time we ask his advice. He really won’t weigh in on something like this. I’m not even sure that we’ll talk to him prior to interviews. But from time to time, he is in our facility, I’ll go downstairs and I’ll talk to him about a bunch of different things.”
It is very interesting that Kupchak has come out publicly and made these statements. Kupchak’s thought process must be that because Bryant is a player, he should not have any say in decisions of this magnitude. What Kupchak may fail to realize is that Bryant is more than just a player, and has one the best basketball minds in the game. If the Lakers hire another coach who does not pan out, it can really set the franchise back even further in addition to alienating a fanbase that will not stand for mediocrity.
Despite what Kupchak has said, it might be in the best interest of the Lakers if he and owner Jim Buss consult with one of the best players to ever play the game regarding who will be coaching Bryant and the Lakers moving forward. The Lakers better move quickly, Stan Van Gundy and Steve Kerr are off the board.