Lakers: Kobe Bryant Talks All Things Lakers in New TWC Interview

July 10, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Nadia Comaneci (left) talks to Kobe Bryant (right) during the women
July 10, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Nadia Comaneci (left) talks to Kobe Bryant (right) during the women /

Even in retirement, Kobe Bryant still holds the Los Angeles Lakers near to the heart

It’s been nearly  four months since Kobe Bryant’s epic farewell game with the Lakers in which he scored 60 points, and we are just a few months away from a season that will not feature Bryant’s name for the first time in twenty years. It will definitely be an unforeseen experience for some fans and players, as the Mamba has become virtually synonymous with the Lakers for the entirety of his career.

Recently, the retired Bryant checked in with Time Warner Cable Sportsnet’s Mike Bresnahan to talk about the future of the Lakers as well as how he’ll be involved with the team going forward.

When asked about newly hired head coach Luke Walton, Bryant remarked with flying colors, mentioning how Walton will have the young Lakers playing a style of play that favors ball movement.

It is interesting to note Bryant’s emphasis on the futility of isolation play, especially when considering the fact that the Lakers were one of the league leaders in isolation frequency last season under former head coach Byron Scott. Could Kobe be taking shots at Byron? (Probably not, but it’s fun to assume so)

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Likewise, Kobe spoke highly of newly drafted Brandon Ingram, citing the latter’s impressive length and defensive potential.

"I think he [Brandon] plays with great tempo, great pace. I like his length…Defensively, he has the potential to be fantastic as well [with] his long arms [and] long legs. So hopefully he starts paying attention to that [the defensive end] just as much as the things he can do offensively"

Bryant also spoke highly of the franchise’s other number two overall selection, D’Angelo Russell, pointing out certain areas that Russell has improved upon over the course of the offseason.

"There are certain things that he [D’Angelo] has really picked up on – body positioning, using his size to be able to get to places, recognizing defensive packages and where to position guys on the floor…He’s developed very nicely over the summer"

Obviously, there are very few players in NBA history who can replace the void left behind by a player of Bryant’s caliber. As such, the team will have to lean on the collective play of its young core in order to make up for his absence. When asked about their future, Bryant sounded enthusiastic.

"They have a really good young core. Now it’s just a matter of them growing together and having those pieces mesh – which I think is a great opportunity. Now, at this age where their games are still developing, they can develop their games and their strengths around each other."

He also made it clear that he will be available for help to the Lakers’ players if need be. “I let the players know I’m always around. If you want to come out, work out, wake up early in the morning, walk through some things – [I’m available], ” said Bryant. “The Lakers are in my blood. It’s family to me. So I’m always around.”

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That said, fully expect to see Bryant around next season, though sadly it will no longer be donning the Purple and Gold.