For the last 19 seasons, Kobe Bryant has been the one constant of the Los Angeles Lakers on the court. Now that his career is winding down, the big question now becomes who will take his place as the face of the franchise once he is done.
While the next big Lakers star is still a question, the mentality of that person is no secret. According to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, Kobe believes the leader of the Lakers must have a singular mentality:
Win championships or nothing. To lead this franchise, you’ve got to be that way,”
While Kobe doesn’t yet know who the player is that has that mindset to lead the Lakers, he is focused on making sure the Lakers have that player, whether it be before or after he retires:
No, I’d much rather hand the keys over to somebody and let them take this organization right from the jump,” he said. “I’d much rather do that. Hopefully we can. But if not, even when I’m retired, that’s one of the things that I’ll be hell-bent on — to make sure this franchise gets back to where it needs to be.”
Kobe is a one-of-a-kind competitor who will do anything to make sure his team wins every time they step out on the floor. He wants to see the Lakers continue to thrive when he is gone and knows that a player with that mindset is necessary for that success.
While Kobe doesn’t expect that next person to be exactly like him in every way, that killer instinct on the court is a must in his eyes. He spoke about himself and Magic both having that, and the next Laker great will need it as well.[divide]
Lakers Kobe Bryant Talks Retirement