Head coach Byron Scott has been mentioned as a mentor to Kobe Bryant during his early seasons in the league. Scott was a veteran at the time, who had won NBA titles and knew what it took to get to the top. He had played alongside some of the all-time greats, and understood what it meant to be a part of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ organization. When Scott was hired, many former players approved of the move, and Bryant’s relationship with his new coach was well-publicized. But when the season begins, it is their new relationship that will determine how the organization fares the rest of the year.
Bryant isn’t afraid to voice his opinion with leadership, and this year will be no different. While the beginning of the season presents little conflict, once the games begin, it will be interesting to see how long Bryant will keep his mouth closed. His extreme competitiveness leads to him wanting to be on the floor at all times, and doing everything he can to propel his team to victory. But coming off several injuries and the fact that he is not getting any younger, means that it is up to Scott to monitor his minutes and attitude at key stretches during games.
This will be new to Bryant, as he is not used to sitting for long periods of time on the bench, especially when his team is struggling. With the current roster, it is hard to see the Lakers having much success, especially in a loaded conference. This is where Scott will need to display his leadership, and make sure that Bryant is not negatively affecting the team. It will be a tricky line that he will have to navigate, because he has to do what is best for the team, while also making sure not to upset his star player. Scott’s ability to handle this situation will prove to be crucial in the upcoming season, because if he handles it poorly, then it can spiral out of control quickly.