As far as Kobe Bryant’s concerned, he’d like to be consulted on every move the Los Angeles Lakers make from now until his retirement. The Black Mamba, standing at the precipice of a career made up entirely of the past tense, is gunning for at least one more ring and at least one more spot higher on the all time scoring list. That’s all he can reasonably look to achieve in the last two years of his contract, which will pay him $48.5 million from now until 2016.
Bryant was candid about his lack of involvement in the selection of the last two Lakers head coaches, Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni (who compiled a combined record of 109-117) when he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live recently, saying that he wished that he would be consulted on the third. While the Lakers are publicly avoiding discussing the hiring process until after the draft lottery, which happens on Tuesday right before Game Two between Miami and Indiana, General Manager Mitch Kupchak did take a half-shot at Bryant in comments to ESPN.
“I think a coach’s success, in a great part, depends on the players,” Kupchak said. “You do have to get good players to win in this league. So, whether it’s an experienced coach or inexperienced coach, I’m not quite sure what direction we’ll go right now.”