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What exactly does a new coach say to Kobe Bryant?

Nov 2, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT

Italy Basketball Bryant Bologna AP

When the Lakers hired Ettore Messina to be part of Mike Brown’s coaching staff, it was seen as a coup in coaching circles. Lakers fans were confused, tried to search him on their iPhones, then complained about AT&T’s coverage and gave up.

So they know, Messina is one of the brightest coaching minds in Europe, a legend there. But he faces the same big hurdle all Lakers coaches face — how do I get through to Kobe Bryant?

Messina was at a coaching conference in Europe and said this according to

“The other day I was on the phone with the Lakers staff, asking advice on where I should get a house,” said Messina. “I was told some people prefer living close to the practice facilities; others, like Kobe, live further away. Sometimes, in order not to challenge the incredible L.A. traffic, Kobe even comes to practice by helicopter.

“At that point I thought: ‘This guy makes $25 million and comes to practice by helicopter – What am I supposed to say to him? “Down with that ass, bend your knees”?’”

Exactly. This is Kobe’s team and he will do what he wants. The more that intersects with what Brown and Messina want, the better.

  1. bcb1999 - Nov 2, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Kobe puts his pants on one leg at a time…those pants are laced with gold fibers and studded with diamonds, but still, one leg at a time.

  2. zblott - Nov 2, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    If Phil Jackson had trouble getting Kobe to be part of the team’s offense, these guys stand no chance.

  3. snoopy2014 - Nov 2, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    “Down with that ass, bend your knees” sounds like something a rapper would say to a woman at a club. Or at least he’d rap about saying that to a woman in a club.

  4. footballisking - Nov 2, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    So how many days till we read a post about how he was fined for mentioning kobe???

  5. jrhall888 - Nov 2, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Kobe wants to win, and he works hard to make that happen. If any coach has something to add that gives Kobe an advantage, he’ll listen. Otherwise, get off his back.

  6. bruthamanfrmda5thflo - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:59 AM

    It’s a trip how people make Kobe out to be such a head case. . . . . I don’t see him as any different as any other person. He plays to win, what ever it takes! I can understand how people can be intimidated by him but he’s still just like most people.

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