Kobe Bryant has now been retired for more than half a season and seems to be enjoying his time away from the game of basketball as well as embarking on his new career. Although Bryant is focused on mastering his new craft, the five-time NBA champion has been keeping up with his former team and the progress of new Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton.
On Friday, Bryant made an appearance on Stephen A. Smith’s new show on ESPN Radio and was asked about the job his former teammate is doing as Byron Scott’s successor:
“I think Luke is doing a fine job,” Bryant said of the first-year head coach. “It’s tough because you have to teach players how to play within a structure. Within that structure, you have a myriad of options that you must be able to recognize and take advantage of, and one player is taking advantage the other player on the floor must understand what that opportunity is and then they can read and react accordingly.”
Kobe went on to talk about how difficult it can be to teach young players in the NBA and how patience is needed in Walton’s current situation with the Lakers:
“It is very difficult to teach that to a group of young guys so fast,” Bryant told Smith. “So, I think patience is the key word here.”
After starting the 2016-17 NBA season with results that were much better than expected for a rebuilding squad with a new head coach, the Lakers have headed into a downward spiral. Injuries and consistency issues have become a major problem for the storied franchise.
There’s no question that there’s an abundance of talent on this Lakers squad, but it seems clear at this point that it will take a bit more time for this team to show it’s true potential under Walton.