There has been an ongoing question on whether the front office should talk to Kobe about who will be the next coach of the Lakers. Kobe said that he would like to be asked, but Mitch Kupchak has maintained that Bryant’s opinion will not be sought.
One person who doesn’t agree with that is former Laker Rick Fox. On ESPN LA’s Max & Marcellus radio show, Fox gave his reasoning on why Bryant’s opinion should matter to the front office:
Kobe still has a vision for this team, and he has to be included in that vision to some degree. You want to make sure Kobe is a part of that conversation as far as style of play because you don’t have a team.
Fox brings up an interesting point. After Kobe, the Lakers roster is a giant question mark. No one knows what to expect from Steve Nash, and Robert Sacre and Kendall Marshall are not players who could be consulted on something like this.
Bryant is who the Lakers will be built around, and Kupchak has admitted that getting the most out of Bryant is an important factor in determining who the next coach will be. Fox told Max & Marcellus that a system like the triangle offense would get the most out of Bryant at this stage of his career:
That’s why I believe Kobe, in these latter years of his career, if he’s not in a system that allows him to move and execute beyond his talent level […] it’s gonna be hard for any coach to get the most out of what is left in his game. And there’s a lot left.
With Byron Scott and Mike Dunleavy interviewing for the job so far, something like the triangle offense may not happen, but the Lakers seem focused on getting a coach who will maximize what Bryant has left. And hopefully Fox is right that it is a lot.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak Q & A: Kobe Bryant, NBA Draft, Coaching Search