When Kobe Bryant decides to speak we listen. Not because Bryant is liable to deliver a ton of significant information in a quote, but because of the fact that he’s the most candid player in the NBA, never holding back, especially toward the tail-end of his career.
In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Bryant expressed the want to have some say so in the Los Angeles Lakers current coaching search:
Stating the remark in a laughing manner, it’s hard to tell if Bryant is playing around or not. Based on the past, he’s likely serious about wanting to have an input on who coaches the team next season. The two coaches the Lakers front office didn’t bother to consult with Bryant on? Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni, two coaches who were eventually ousted due to them failing under the expectations set for them once receiving the job.
You can’t blame Bryant for wanting to have some input on who coaches the Los Angeles Lakers come the 2014-15 season, but the Lakers front office will have to be weary if they let him in on the process. Listening to Kobe speak, it’s clear he has one thing on his mind for the remainder of his contract: to compete for a championship. This means he’d want a head coach that can push this team to the best of their abilities immediately, all while possibly hindering the Lakers ability to be flexible in the future.
He’s already expressed the want to have Chicago Bull’s head coach Tom Thibodeau as the head coach. This thought alone reflects where Bryant’s mind is on the matter. Based on the Thibs suggestion, Bryant would likely be fine with a veteran head coach such as Lionel Hollins or George Karl replacing Mike D’Antoni, two coaches who have shown they have what it takes to collect wins. It’d also seem likely that Bryant would opt for someone he’s familiar with to coach the team. That’d mean someone like Kurt Rambis, a former Lakers assistant coach.
Bryant’s impact on the Lakers is big, but Mike Kupchak and company not going to Bryant in previous years could continue. Despite everything #24 has done for the Lakers, the team knows there will soon be a day where he isn’t in uniform, possibly when his contract expires in two years, meaning the urgency to find whoever they feel can lead the team for years to come, including the years post-Bryant, is definite. But Bryant holds weight, so it’ll be interesting to see what Jeanie Buss and company do in regards to the head coaching position.