The Lakers are stuck in the midst of another season near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, and on Sunday they hit a low point, setting a new franchise record for the biggest loss in a 122-73 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.
Coach Luke Walton is doing his best to lay a foundation for the future with a young core of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram, but after a 10-10 start things have gone a bit off the rails as the Lakers have gone 6-22 since then to fall to 16-32 on the season.
Kobe Bryant is in his first year of retirement, and the Laker legend has some thoughts on the current situation in Los Angeles. He also wants the organization to know that he would be willing to help behind the scenes if they want to call him. Here’s what he told told Stephen A. Smith on ESPN Radio, via William Lou of The Score:
“I’m always around behind the scenes for Jeanie, Jimmy, and the entire Buss family if they need assistance or if it be to reach out or call for advice and things of that nature.”
Bryant also gave encouragement to Walton and, like Magic Johnson, called for patience when it comes to evaluating the young Lakers squad.
“I think (head coach) Luke (Walton) is doing a fine job,” Bryant said. “It’s tough because you have to teach players how to play within a structure, and within that structure you have a myriad of options that you must be able to recognize and take advantage of…
“It’s very difficult to teach that to a group of young guys so fast, so I think patience is the key word here.”
Walton was asked on Tuesday about Bryant’s comments and willingness to come in and help and said now, right after a 49-point loss, probably wasn’t the time to bring Kobe in to talk to the team.
Walton, being a former teammate of Bryant’s, knows Kobe quite well and he’s probably right to hold off on his call for assistance until the team is in need of some fire and tough love.