Kobe Bryant has officially retired, but it seems the sport won’t let him go. Lakers news have it that the Black Mamba will be returning to the hardcourt, but this time as a coach.
Bryant has seen the best and the worst of the league. His experience, not to mention his basketball knowledge, will be a treasure to hear and learn from. So whichever team finally gets him back on court will readily be a contender this season. Based on rumors, it probably is the New Orleans Pelicans.
Kobe Bryant Returns as Coach?
A recent story by the Bleacher Report recounted how Kobe took NOLA superstar, Anthony Davis, under his wings. Representing USA in the 2012 Olympics, the Laker veteran took interest at the rookie and Davis considered him as a big brother.
When Davis signed an extension with the Pelicans, he asked the former NBA MVP advice on how to be a leader to his teammates. Bryant’s answer was nothing short of the Mamba Mentality.
“Bryant pooh-poohed the notion that a leader is just someone who puts his arm around you. He argued that a leader doesn’t care if everyone likes him, which obviously shook the caring Davis at his core. But a leader makes damn sure, Bryant told him, that everyone respects him,” the Bleacher Report article shared.
“A guy has something in his teeth, and other guys just talk to him and let him be. They’re not going to tell him,” Bryant told the younger Davis.
“I’m going to be the guy to tell you you’ve got something between your teeth. Then it’s on you whether you want to walk around looking stupid. But I am going to tell you.”
This was one the former Kentucky standout took to heart and has since been working on implementing.
With Davis being his team’s franchise player, and his camaraderie with KB, it would seem like the two are a perfect fit for each other. The 5-time champion would do well to lead a young team like the Pelicans to their NBA playoff win. But so far, all these coaching rumors are just that — rumors.
Neither the Pelicans nor Bryant has said anything about the latest Lakers news.
‘Coaching? No, I don’t think so’
Many fans and even sports analysts think Kobe — one of the most intelligent players to ever grace the hardcourt — will make a very good head coach. His basketball IQ is likened to that of arguably the best basketball player in history, Michael Jordan. If he can impart just a percentage of his knowledge, that would be a privilege to any team.
However, according to Kobe, coaching is not in his mind right now and all Lakers news about him returning aren’t true.
During his visit to the Philippines last June, the future Hall of Famer flatly rejected any notions of him taking the reins of an NBA team.
“Coaching? No, I don’t think so, I mean…coaching a team of 15 players, trying to teach them to become the best version of themselves. But what works for me is storytelling. I think I could teach things that would raise the consciousness of the game moreso than if I do coaching.”
Will we ever see Kobe Bryant inside the NBA court again? Only time will tell.