The newly hired Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach, Ettore Messina, is not sure how to talk to NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. Bryant is one of the most respected, and frankly most successful basketball players in the world, and Messina does not feel comfortable bossing him around.
“The other day I was on the phone with the Lakers staff, asking advice on where I should get a house,” said Messina. “I was told some people prefer living close to the practice facilities; others, like Kobe, live further away. Sometimes, in order not to challenge the incredible L.A. traffic, Kobe even comes to practice by helicopter. At that point I thought: ‘This guy makes $25 million and comes to practice by helicopter – What am I supposed to say to him? ‘Down with that [expletive], bend your knees’?”
However, before Messina can actually work with Kobe Bryant, David Stern and Billy Hunter must first shake hands.