Lakers Nation Debate: Would Kobe Bryant Take Lesser Role To Play In 2016-17?
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Topic: Would Kobe Bryant be willing to take a lesser role (i.e. late 80’s Kareem or ’14-15 Paul Pierce) to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers past this season?

Context: Anyone who follows the Lakers knows that the upcoming season could potentially be the final one for Kobe. It is his 20th season in the NBA and his contract runs out at the end of the year making it an ideal time for Kobe to hang it up.

Of course no one knows if it will actually be Kobe’s last year and the Lakers seem to be open about Kobe returning to the team past this year if he wants to do so. In his recent interview with the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Pincus, however, Buss mentioned that he would have to ‘explain the role’ that Kobe would play going forward which would seem to indicate Kobe no longer being the focal point of the Lakers.

It is well known that Kobe is an ‘Alpha Dog’ and some would say he may struggle to take a secondary role because of his ego. Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and D’Angelo Russell look like the core to take over the Lakers and the franchise seems to be ready to hand them the keys very soon.

If that is truly the case after this season, and it is explained to Kobe, would he actually be willing to sign on for multiple seasons as a second or third option on the Lakers?

Verdict: We went to Twitter to ask the loyal Lakers Nation followers if they believe Kobe Bryant would take a lesser role to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers past this season. These are some of the responses:

The fans have spoken and while some believe Kobe would come back in a lesser role, the majority believe that his ego would not allow him to take a step back while remaining on the team. Personally, I have to agree with the fans that Kobe wouldn’t come back in that role.

While Kobe could definitely play a style similar to that of Paul Pierce for another few years, I have a hard time believing that he would continue playing if he didn’t believe he could be one of the best players in the NBA.

The time has come for the Lakers to get ready for life without Kobe Bryant. If he is willing to take a slight step back to make room for the new wave of Lakers, then it would be excellent, but I just don’t see Kobe wanting to play at any level less than the best.

kobe will do whatever coach ask him to do. that’s all he’s been doing each year. he will be able to do whatever coach ask him if he want to play

  • Kobe will play smart and take high pct shots and rack up alot of assists just like last year. he will make room for the rookies and take a lesser Kobe. he can adjust his game to play PG SG or SF thats why Kobe is the GOAT.
    and why lebron continues to choke….

  • these idiots have no idea what kobe would sacrifice to get that 6th ring, he already adjusted his game a bit last season before his injury kobe had a couple triple doubles and there were games where he was more of a facilitator. kobe’s future depends on 1. his health 2.the condition of the team

  • No, Michael Jordan came out of retirement to be the Alpha Dog to the Wiazrds at 38 and played until 40. Kobe who we all know consider himself on MJ’s level would not accept a position which would reduce his overall status to MJ in the eyes of public perception.

    Injuries be damned, if he returns it would have to be alpha.

  • Kobe plays smart, measured, and efficient this year.
    He goes to Rio to win a Medal.
    And then retires.

    I could see him playing a little bit in the international leagues after he retires. And at his age, he should still command a very high dollar, and be the best player in THAT league.

  • He would IF KD is here, he said in an interview that he wanted to pass the torch already to the next great laker(which is TBD)…but, he wont simply give it up, that great lakers SHOULD steal it away from him just like what he did to shaq, being the King Laker isn’t given, IT IS EARNED!

  • A lot of articles to keep up with….ok, here we go. Yes, I feel if the Lakers can sign a max player in FA next off season, Kobe will accept a lesser role…….ESPECIALLY if that max player is KD. Honestly at that point, Kobe wouldn’t have a choice. But we seen flashes of Kobe adjusting last season before the injuries. I think he had like three triple doubles. But with all of the money the Lakers will have to spend next offseason, if the FO bolo another offseason, the house needs to be cleaned……..starting from the top.

  • I thought there was a quote where Kobe was asked a similar question and he mentioned possobly becoming a closer later in his career, comparing it to Mariano Rivera.

    I may have that mixed up but does anyone else remember that (or similar)?

  • I know one thing..Kobe is still the best player on the laker this year..to ask him to take less role you have to be contender and bring players will be better than him..so why this discussion now..to compare him with what Paul pierce did this is completely unfair comparison k9be is far more elete than pierce still and if he have a good team around him he still will be top notch player in the leage..finally give this great player some respect and stop after 20 years try to point negative that may or may not happen. .I wish him the health and that’s enough for him to be great

  • If we make the playoffs. If somehow Westbrook had a falling off with OKC… Even then he’ll gauge it by how much of his step and pep is still there. Lakers can put a Portland Blazer like team that went 7 with Lakers back in the day. That Blazer team didn’t have one superstar. Just a lot of thug life. Kobe as Pippen. Jus putting it out there.

  • no wth are you talkin about?
    jk i remember that yes i think he did say it.
    im 99pct sure.

  • 37% is not a high FG% nor is 29% from 3 point. 10 turnovers vs Pistons, 9 vs. Sac, only 4 points vs. clippers. Lebron is GOAT, bryant sucks

  • Lets play a game. Name your active players with Rings. I’ll start: Paul Pierce, Big Baby = 2 Ring Players. Your turn, GO! lol

  • Well it appears as of now, KD is the only max player in free agency. This upcoming free agency class is pretty weak.

  • Yeah I just checked out the FA class. Weak indeed, but that may actually work out in our favor. If we land KD, we could go after a few top tier role players (that class is full of them). That way we could then add another max the following year………but a lot of things has to go right in order for it to play out like this……….and it all starts on how well we play this year.

  • As much as I would love to add KD, (as of now) I don’t see it being realistic right now. We have a great nice young core to build on and showcase for future free agents, but it might be tough to convince a guy who has a possibility of making it to the Finals with his current team to leave that situation for us (best case us being in 7th or 8th place in the playoffs, or worse case another losing season). Kobe would really, really need to come back to the Mamba (or as close to the Mamba) we all know plus stay healthy, we would also need to make it high in the playoffs, and players of the young core and veterans would really need to come up really big to land KD. I guess will just have to wait and see how this season/off-season plays out. I just hope somehow someway this team shocks the world and makes it high in the standings and makes a playoff push. Still unsure if it will happen, but that’s my hope (other than a championship haha).

  • Kobrick has had his day an it is way past time to retire. He will hut the Lakers by playing next year. The Laker FO should not sign him except as an assistant coach to mentor the young. All of the great Lakers retired when it was time except Kobrick.

  • I agree. I meant it as a comparison of the role Pippen played on that team. Spiritual leader that locked down on defense and had brief moments of brilliance on the offensive end.

  • Stupid to compare him to pierce. Kobe still has the game…it’s just about health. He can do almost everything he’s done throughout his career (except dunk), it’s just about his body holding up 82+ games

  • IF the Lakers were able to bring in Durant or Westbrook, guarantee Kobe would sign another 2 years… and likely give LA a large discount.

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