Kobe Bryant has had an incredibly decorated history with the Los Angeles Lakers and it appears that the end of his professional basketball career is coming to an end. Kobe has won five NBA championships, two Finals MVPs, and one MVP over the course of his 20-year career.
In addition to Kobe’s 20 year career with the Lakers, Kobe had the honor of playing for Team USA basketball and won two gold medals in 2008 and 2012.
In a recent interview on Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Sirius XM show, “Basketball & Beyond with Coach K,” Kobe talked about how his responsibility has turned to focus on helping his young teammates develop in the 2015-16 NBA season:
“Of course, I would love to win another championship. My responsibility now is to think outside of what I want. My responsibility is to these young players, because when I came into the league, somebody had to teach me. Somebody had to mentor me. And so it’s my responsibility to do the same thing for them.”
Kobe has been chasing after that elusive sixth championship ring as soon as he got his fifth. A sixth NBA championship would tie him with Michael Jordan, who is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Kobe continued to stress player development:
“For Julius [Randle], and for Jordan [Clarkson], and for D’Angelo [Russell], and for some of our other younger guys; it is [my responsibility] to try to teach them the things that I learned at that age and try to help their development curve.”
The young core of Randle, Clarkson, and Russell have the best mentor possible in Kobe. He was drafted at the age of 17 and had a lot to learn when he came into the league. These young players are in a similar situation that Kobe was once in, so when he talks, they will listen.