Disgraced by such a shameful performance by the Lakers, Bryant wants to do whatever he can to help the Lakers, telling ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that he is just a phone call away.
From The Score:
“I’m always around behind the scenes for Jeanie, Jimmy, and the entire Buss family if they need assistance or if it be to reach out or call for advice and things of that nature,” Bryant told Stephen A. Smith on ESPN Radio.
“Now, being front and center about it, it’s not something that is really my cup of tea. I’d rather be behind the scenes and focus on the content I’m creating because that’s where my passion truly lies, but the Buss family knows that I’m always a phone call away.”
“I think (head coach) Luke (Walton) is doing a fine job,” Bryant said. “It’s tough because you have to teach players how to play within a structure, and within that structure you have a myriad of options that you must be able to recognize and take advantage of. If one player is taking advantage of them, the other four on the floor must understand where their opportunity is and they can read and react accordingly.
“It’s very difficult to teach that to a group of young guys so fast, so I think patience is the key word here.”
However, while Bryant wants to help his former team and has nothing but good things to say about Walton, the Lakers coach isn’t ready to call his former teammate on the cellphone just yet.
Bryant offering to help isn’t anything that new. After all, Bryant repeatedly said throughout his last season in the NBA that he was looking forward to mentoring and teaching players like Kawhi Leonard after he retired.
But Walton is 100 percent correct that Bryant will use a tough love approach to motivate the Lakers, which won’t be beneficial in the least bit. Thanks to the follies of former coach Byron Scott, we now know that this young Lakers team doesn’t respond to tough love. Instead, they respond to the approach Walton is taking which is optimistic openness and constant confidence.
From a teaching standpoint, Bryant could likely help the Lakers. After such a bad loss, though, just doesn’t seem appropriate. And that’s fine because it sounds like Walton knows he can count on Bryant to help out whenever he needs the additional assistance.