The hiring of Rob Pelinka as the new general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers could possibly introduce Kobe Bryant re-joining the team in a front-office role. Pelinka was Bryant’s agent throughout his career so that relationship runs deep. With such a young team trying to re-emerge as a winning organization, a guy like Kobe Bryant who knows a lot about winning wouldn’t be such a bad idea to have around.
“First call I make if I’m in charge? Kobe Bryant,” Johnson said on ESPN’s First Take. “Because Kobe understands winning. He understands, also, these players. I would call: ‘What role you want? … If you’ve got a day, just give me that day.’
“I’ll take that. Whatever time he has, I want him to come and be a part of it.”
Johnson was scheduled to meet with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and co-owner and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss on Monday to discuss the construction of the current team and the strategy heading into the Feb. 23 trade deadline.
During the introductory presser for Rob Pelinka, Bryant (who was sitting in the front row) was brought up in the discussion and this is what Pelinka had to say:
Rob Pelinka said he has "absolutely" talked to Kobe about having possible involvement. Pelinka: "He's 100% behind everything Laker"
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 10, 2017
I’m unsure if Kobe Bryant will take an official role with the team but it’s a no-brainer if I’m Johnson, Pelinka, or the organization to keep him around. Despite receiving the rap of a being a bad teammate, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would be very resourceful in a role with the squad.
With the knowledge and IQ of the game that Kobe Bryant possesses, I would keep him close to the players in more of a player development role. With so much young talent, why not have them learn from one of the best to ever do it? We’ve seen guys like Kevin Garnett go to a couple of teams to serve this purpose and give pointers to a few of the younger players around the league. I believe Kobe could thrive in the same role. For a guy who grew up in the game learning from all of the veterans, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind giving back to the game, especially the Lakers.