A little more than a month later, the Lakers caught everyone by a bit of surprise when they additionally hired Madsen as a development coach on the Lakers’ coaching staff.
Recently, Lakers.com’s Mike Trudell caught up with Madsen and talked about his reunion with the Lakers, his coaching plans, what he expects from this season’s roster and more.
One of the topics discussed revolved around Kobe Bryant and Madsen’s experience with Kobe as a teammate. Madsen had the following to say:
I’m grateful to have had Kobe as a teammate, because he helped me grow. There were times when he put his arm around me after a tough loss, and other times where he pushed me to be the best I could be. I think he has a nice combination of knowing when to pat somebody on the back, and when to get after somebody. I was a better player because of Kobe.”
There has been a ton of criticism of Bryant’s leadership and being a teammate of his, especially with the speculation and the reports regarding Dwight Howard’s feelings toward the five-time champion. However, Madsen appreciated Bryant’s style of leadership, saying:
His talent speaks for itself as one of the best to ever play basketball, but I think his leadership is extremely strong. You don’t win the five championships he’s won without being a great leader. He leads vocally and by example. You’re going to find very few players out there as great as Kobe is who also study film, who study opponents, who study other team’s sets. When he’s on the court, he has scripted ways he can take advantage of other team’s sets.
While some aren’t built to handle Kobe Bryant’s style of leadership, those that can have experienced great benefits from it as you just read with Madsen’s testimonial. At the end of the day, Kobe will push and drive a teammate to perform to the best of his ability. Bryant is also meticulous about preparation and leading by example.
Madsen alluded to a crucial point that Bryant has the goal of winning a championship every single season. As Madsen points out, that is a “team goal,” not an individual one. That goal is meant to drive and push the entire team to perform to their best ability as a whole. The team and fans are hoping that continues to happen next season and in the future.
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