Mitch Kupchak: Kobe Bryant will play central role next season


Kobe Bryant’s return following his Achilles’ tear was brief, and the 35-year-old superstar picked up a knee injury which sidelined him for most of the 2013-14 season. Bryant is now healthy and will be working to get ready for next season, and despite the injury woes Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak expects big things out of his star.

More from Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers will be looking to add a superstar this summer, or at the very least a formidable supporting cast for Kobe’s last show. Kupchak will also need to find a new head coach, and finding someone who will fit well with Bryant seems to be one of his priorities.

"“He’s under contract for two more years, and we think he’s a very integral part of this team,” Kupchak said. “We have to make sure that whoever we hire as a coach can really get the most productivity out of him, whether it’s scoring the ball or playmaking or the threat that he may score.” “You’ll see a lot of him posting up,” Kupchak said. “I think you’ll see him with the ball in his hands, making plays. At the end of games, he’s going to have the ball in hands, he’s going to get a call, he’s going to make free throws.” (via Kevin Ding, Bleacher Report)"

In the brief period of playing time Kobe saw this season he did show willingness to score less and take on the role of a playmaker. He is the type of a player who is unlikely to take on a severely diminished role, so it’s no surprise that the team will still be built around his remaining qualities.