Not everyone is convinced Kobe Bryant’s now four game absence from the Lakers is completely about resting his shin. Some see his time off as just that…time off. Bryant’s body has taken a beating over the years and his desire to play through all that pain hasn’t done much for his recovery. So it stands to reason that he’s simply recharging for the playoffs.
Something even more interesting has happened during Kobe’s rest/recovery period, he’s become an additional member of the Lakers’ coaching staff.
It has become all too common to see Kobe pulling aside the likes of Andrew Bynum to give game advice and to even see him in team huddles as if he were on salary as a coach. John Kuester went as far as to refer to Kobe as the Lakers’ “fifth coach”.
Truthfully it can’t be all that shocking to see Kobe so comfortable in a coaching capacity. His development as a leader was on full display during L.A.’s playoff run back in ’09. Even with Hall of Famer Phil Jackson running the show you would often see Kobe drawing up plays and leading team huddles during critical parts of crucial games.
Oh, yeah, and Kobe’s dad happens to be a coach too. Like father like son, I suppose.
If Kobe were to go into coaching once his playing days are over he’d be entering a realm where players of his caliber rarely succeed. The old adage goes “those that can’t teach” so most often Hall of Fame players do not make for Hall of Fame coaches. Still, you know Bryant loves a challenge and he seems to have a genuine love for teaching. You can definitely see a second career blooming for Bryant. But let’s put that on hold for now. No matter his coaching talents he’s more valuable to these Lakers on the court than off it.