Magic Johnson: Kobe Bryant ‘wants to be involved’ with Lakers
Magic Johnson has indicated not only does Kobe Bryant want to “be involved” with the Los Angeles Lakers, he intends to “implement a plan” to convince the fellow Lakers icon to do so in some capacity.
Johnson in February came on board with the Lakers after being named the team’s president of basketball operations. While joining SiriusXM NBA Radio this week, Johnson laid out his goals of recruiting Bryant as some part of his management team.
“Kobe wants to be a part of it. He wants to be involved, and I told him any kind of way he wants to be involved,” Johnson said, as transcribed by Ball Don’t Lie. “We don’t want him to come into work every day, no. We just want his expertise and pick his brain and also, show me or tell me what’s missing. So then I can say, ‘Okay, hey, maybe I missed that. I’m going to jump on that.’ He got great ideas, so we going to implement a plan where we can have him involved.”
Johnson’s comments essentially echo what he said when he first got the Lakers job.
“First call I make if I’m in charge? Kobe Bryant,” Johnson said in February, via ESPN. “Because Kobe understands winning. He understands, also, these players. I would call: ‘What role you want? … If you’ve got a day, just give me that day.’
Given Bryant’s myriad business and personal interests that have been his focus since retirement, odds are any potential contribution to the Lakers organization would be more in an advisory or consulting role as opposed to something that would require daily input and a consistent presence. Johnson admits as much in his comments.
Still, if Johnson can convince Bryant to contribute regardless of the level of commitment, it would be a major win. The Lakers organization, after all, are armed with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and with some young talent, may be on the precipice of a return to respectability. Adding Bryant to the mix arguably will only help expedite the process in many ways.