Topic: Would Kobe Bryant be willing to take a lesser role (i.e. late 80’s Kareem or ’14-15 Paul Pierce) to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers past this season?
Context: Anyone who follows the Lakers knows that the upcoming season could potentially be the final one for Kobe. It is his 20th season in the NBA and his contract runs out at the end of the year making it an ideal time for Kobe to hang it up.
Of course no one knows if it will actually be Kobe’s last year and the Lakers seem to be open about Kobe returning to the team past this year if he wants to do so. In his recent interview with the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Pincus, however, Buss mentioned that he would have to ‘explain the role’ that Kobe would play going forward which would seem to indicate Kobe no longer being the focal point of the Lakers.
It is well known that Kobe is an ‘Alpha Dog’ and some would say he may struggle to take a secondary role because of his ego. Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and D’Angelo Russell look like the core to take over the Lakers and the franchise seems to be ready to hand them the keys very soon.
If that is truly the case after this season, and it is explained to Kobe, would he actually be willing to sign on for multiple seasons as a second or third option on the Lakers?
Verdict: We went to Twitter to ask the loyal Lakers Nation followers if they believe Kobe Bryant would take a lesser role to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers past this season. These are some of the responses:
— KG. (@GameRelated_) August 29, 2015
— Freddy Rosales (@Mrfifty6er) August 29, 2015
— Young Man 1⃣7⃣ (@SideNiggaInc_) August 29, 2015
— Tony (@ThoughtsOfTony) August 29, 2015
#LNDebate if the team looked like it could be a real contender and he has a good season and meshes well with the new guys this year, he will
— Bettie Angel (@bettieangel) August 29, 2015
Hell no he won't he's Kobe he won't accept a lesser role because he thinks he can do whatever he want one the court https://t.co/pPZIX93el9
— Zoovier (@joeypinto3) August 29, 2015
The fans have spoken and while some believe Kobe would come back in a lesser role, the majority believe that his ego would not allow him to take a step back while remaining on the team. Personally, I have to agree with the fans that Kobe wouldn’t come back in that role.
While Kobe could definitely play a style similar to that of Paul Pierce for another few years, I have a hard time believing that he would continue playing if he didn’t believe he could be one of the best players in the NBA.
The time has come for the Lakers to get ready for life without Kobe Bryant. If he is willing to take a slight step back to make room for the new wave of Lakers, then it would be excellent, but I just don’t see Kobe wanting to play at any level less than the best.