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Kobe wants input on choosing Lakers next head coach

May 10, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

kobe mitch Getty Images

Kobe Bryant said his reaction to Mike D’Antoni resigning as Lakers head coach was that he didn’t care, although with his career winding down and the next hire being so critical to his future chances for success, he’d like to take a more active role in helping the team make that decision.

Over All-Star weekend, Bryant said that he wanted to stay out of the way of the front office in terms of how the Lakers go about assembling the roster. But after two consecutive head coaching choices haven’t come close to working out, Bryant wants to make sure the Lakers get the next one right.

From Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:

Bryant hopes the Lakers will sing a different tune than they have in the past when it comes to consulting him about hiring a coach.

“On the last two they didn’t,” Bryant said, referring to Mike Brown and D’Antoni, who both failed to endure the length of the initial contracts they signed with the Lakers before parting ways. “On the third one, I’m hoping they do.”

The Lakers are in an extremely difficult spot, one that makes choosing their next coach more complicated than usual.

Bryant has two years left on his contract, and if he can remain healthy, is still an All-Star level talent capable of carrying the team at times. But as we’re seeing more and more, it takes multiple star players, along with some high-quality reserves in order to contend for a title, and the Lakers are far, far away from that level, and are likely to remain there for at least one more season.

So, do the Lakers try to get someone who is well-respected and has experience dealing with stars at the NBA level, or do they go for a younger, less proven choice on a long-term deal (similar to the one Brad Stevens got in Boston) to rebuild the team for the future?

There are no easy answers, and the franchise needs to decide if it is going to try to reconstruct the roster on the fly with Bryant still in place, or go for a more traditional rebuild through the draft which will extend the painful process.

However they choose to proceed, given the fact that he’s close to the end of his Hall of Fame career, Bryant wants a say in the decision this time.

  1. kgsmith - May 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    then buy your own team or become a GM then you can have all the input you want. You Prima dona..

    • chargerdillon - May 10, 2014 at 7:09 PM

      Kobe Bryant is my all time favorite player and that being said he is no GM. If Kobe had any real idea what it took to win a championship and wanted one for the Lakers, he’d have retired.

      Kobe is done and was done a year ago, just like Steve Nash. The mind is willing but the body is not, these are the harsh reality top level NBA players face once they’re past their prime and the only thing Kobe is displaying is a high level of selfish narcism.

      Kobe gave us some great years, over a decades worth of great years. Those years are done and everybody with a brain in their head knows it.

      The ONLY person Kobe will be interested in signing is a coach who will put him first and the team second, and that does not equate to making the playoffs.

    • florida727 - May 10, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      I agree with #kgsmith. This is b.s. He’s a PLAYER. He plays FOR a coach. I couldn’t care less whether he’s won 5 championships or 15. He’s NOT a coach, and doesn’t deserve to have any input. What he needs to do is keep his mouth shut and play for whoever management decides THEY want to coach the team. Man, this guy makes it easy to hate the Lakers.

  2. chris3141084 - May 10, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    I want the Lakers to want his input for nothing other than he wants to win and to win championships, he knows what it takes to win, anyone can be optimistic but if the coach isn’t really about winning championships, I wouldn’t want the Lakers to hire that person.

    • daddyghi - May 11, 2014 at 8:11 AM

      phil jackson is the one who know’s how to win, not kobe…

  3. thomaskouns - May 10, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Kobe was part of championships despite his worst impulses.

    Isn’t this the guy who wanted D’Antonio…..

    If he really cared so much about coaching (not that he wants one who could help him move up the All-Time scoring list of course), he would have publicly supported Phil a year ago – the only coach he’s won championships with.

    One of the best marketed (Thanks Nike) and overrated players ever….

    • spthegr8 - May 10, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      ^^^ Overrated.??? I understand you may not like Kobe, I get it. Overrated tho.?? I can’t say that I’ve seen you post on the site before but now, I know not to read your post or take you serious.!! ^^^ He is only the second best Shooting Guard of ALL-TIME!!! Name a better 2 guard other than Mj.???

      • urodaddy07 - May 10, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        What part on ‘i had no input’ is unclear? I remember him endorsing D’Antoni after he was hired. I don’t remember him pushing for him to be hired.

      • tuberippin - May 10, 2014 at 8:21 PM

        “Name a better 2 guard other than Mj.???”

        Oscar Robertston. No one else has ever averaged a triple-double for an entire season while playing guard.

      • dirtydavis - May 11, 2014 at 12:46 AM


        That was before the merger…

      • sportsfan18 - May 11, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        you do realize that even the BEST at something, whatever it is may STILL be overrated…

        simply being the best all time or the 2nd best all time at something does NOT preclude one from still being overrated…

        they are not mutually exclusive you know…

      • imakcds - May 11, 2014 at 6:31 PM

        If you are the BEST or 2nd BEST of all time, and it’s pretty much the consensus, then there is NO BETTER. So how can being the BEST or the 2nd BEST be overrated?????
        someone here is on some serious drugs to post that statement.

    • urodaddy07 - May 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      I’m not even going to address the “over-rated” comment except to say your 4 thumbs-up is over-rated

  4. jzone954 - May 10, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    I think it’s safe I say Mr. Bryant is on the down side of his career even more so now with these teeny injuries. The days of the Lakers are over just as it happens to all great team eventually.

  5. rrhoe - May 10, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    I like Kobe as a player but he needs to face the fact that the Lakers will not be competing for no championships in the next few years. If he was truly concerned with the team being somewhat competitive he wouldn’t have signed for two years and 48mil,he could’ve taken a Tim Duncan type deal and left the team some flexibilty to add some decent players. I don’t think there is a coach out there that doesn’t want to win a championship so I wouldn’t want his input,Kobe is only looking out for Kobe’s interest.

    • urodaddy07 - May 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Agreed, I still think he should offer/be asked to re-work his contract so that they can attract some good free agents. The truth is, Kobe is not the only one who is impatient. These fans are demanding. A rebuild will not be tolerated. Management needs to recognize that.

      • paleihe - May 10, 2014 at 6:44 PM

        This isn’t football. You can’t restructure a contract after it’s been signed.

        Kobe is selfish, yes. But, his selfishness aligns with the desires of the Lakers, championships. However, it’s not very likely to happen while Kobe is under contract.

        It doesn’t matter how demanding the fans (me) are. Rebuilds take time, that’s understood. I give them 3-4 years before being able to compete again.

      • urodaddy07 - May 11, 2014 at 3:00 PM

        That doesn’t make sense to me. If both parties want to rework a contract i can see no legal impediment. This has nothing to do with what sport it is.

      • paleihe - May 11, 2014 at 10:55 PM

        Yes, the sport makes a difference. The Collective Bargaining Agreement in basketball prohibits thr restructuring of contracts. In football, the CBA allows contracts to be restructured. So, that’s why.

  6. jgreiner9 - May 10, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Of course he does. Go home Kobe, you’re drunk.

  7. shuttaman1990 - May 10, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Let our shooting Gawd have an input. Lakers all day! You peons will tremble this next season!

    • jimeejohnson - May 11, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Excuse me for not being scared of the lowly L.A. Lakers. They’re like the Knicks: they suck.

  8. thevikesarebest - May 10, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    The poor coach who has to coach the definitional joke that is the lakers.they will be picking a new coach next year.12-70

  9. urodaddy07 - May 10, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    I have no issue with him or any other star player asking to have some input. They should not expect, though, that anyone will necessarily pay attention to their opinions.

  10. nickhollingsworth - May 10, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Why would they let him have input on a potential 4-5 year decision when he won’t be there more than 2?

  11. antistratfordian - May 10, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    Bryant hopes the Lakers will sing a different tune than they have in the past when it comes to consulting him about hiring a coach.

    “On the last two they didn’t,” Bryant said, referring to Mike Brown and D’Antoni…

    Kobe is absolutely full of it here. If he wasn’t consulted about D’Antoni then why did he say this back in 2012:

    I spoke with Jimmy (Buss) before everything went down and we talked about some of the coaching candidates and stuff and to be honest, I said D’Antoni was my first choice because I didn’t even know Phil was going to be an option. Then Jimmy was the one that brought up Phil’s name. I said, ‘I didn’t even know that was a consideration.’ They said, ‘Well, it is and we want to know how you feel about it.’ I said, ‘I love it,’ and that was it. So they knew my two guys that I liked and if one didn’t work out, obviously with Phil, they knew that they had my approval to pull the trigger on the other one.

    Kobe is trying to BS you, but he’s as much to blame for the D’Antoni hire as anyone else.

  12. onbucky96 - May 10, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    Kobe, the Buss family pays you to play guard not GM. Take your family on vacation again. Maybe to Colorado, so you can show the kids how you beat rap. STFU!

  13. bballhistorian - May 10, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    Not too much a Kobe fan, but he does deserve a big input on the next coach…especially considering the Lakers huge investment in his final two yrs. He should at least have say-so in this.

  14. honkerdawg - May 10, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    Why doesn’t he just run the draft also. Where do these guys get off thinking they are so important and should be making management decisions

  15. 1harrypairatesties - May 10, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Why don’t YOU be the next coach. Your playing days are just about over. Nobody the Lakers hire is gonna be good enough for you.

  16. rodge1 - May 10, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    LMAO!!!!… Please stay with the Lakers forever Kobe

  17. tuberippin - May 10, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Phil Jackson isn’t coming back, Shaq isn’t coming back, and the health of your knees ain’t coming back either Kobe. Give it up.

  18. gbart22 - May 10, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    If he so badly wants to win why did he maximize his contracts to hinder the team from improving around him? Had he done something like that to give the team more leeway to go for it one more time I would understand him at least getting to offer his opinion on the topic of a coach but since he’s already shown what he’s solely about; Kobe Bryant and Kobe alone.

  19. eugenesaxe1 - May 11, 2014 at 2:52 AM

    Let Kobe coach, he can have all the input he wants.
    If I were an FA during the next 2 seasons, I wouldn’t go anywhere near LA. He wants to win, but his contract is a millstone around the team’s neck. When they don’t make it to the playoffs it’s going to be everybody’s fault but his. Too much arrogance in one package.

  20. imakcds - May 11, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    A lot of ‘fans’ (Haters?) here blame Kobe for signing such a big contract.
    The contract was OFFERED to him, by Laker management, the sum was NOT a demand from Kobe. Was he supposed to say no, I don’t want it?
    Would YOU have refused it???
    If you said you would have, you’re an effen liar and totally full of sheet.

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