In recent years especially, Kobe Bryant has become a go to quote for any media members covering the Lakers. Kobe's unique combination of stature within the game and seemingly not caring what people think about him has given fans of the both the Lakers and the NBA plenty of discussion material during his career. But would such quotability translate well to his becoming an analyst when he retires?
In Richard Deitch's weekly media column, he led with a brief analysis of Bryant's post career broadcasting prospects. In short, many of the people interviewed and Deitsch himself all thought that Bryant at the very least held a lot of potential for that role, including local Lakers reporter Ramona Shelburne offering this insight:
"If he chose to do it he'd be incredible," said ESPN Los Angeles senior writer Ramona Shelburne, who has covered the Lakers since 2003. "He's sarcastic, smart, insightful, fearless. Think the player version of Jeff Van Gundy. I'm not sure he's fun enough for the typical NBA pre and postgame show. The guys that thrive there are the ones who always sat around in a locker room after a game, BS-ing with other players and reporters or coaches. I've seen Kobe do that from time to time, but only when he's soaking his feet in an ice bucket. The rest of the time, he's all business ... He is singularly focused on basketball. That level of focus has keeps him at a distance from a lot of people. Yes, he forms friendships with players around the league, but they are the 'mutual admiration' kind of friendships. I think that distance is actually what would make him a great broadcaster. If he's able to call Pau Gasol his 'brother' in one moment and then tell him he needs to put his 'big boy pants on' in another moment, just think about what he might say with a player he didn't like and admire."
All of this praise naturally led to the question of if he could be TNT's replacement for Charles Barkley if the former round mound of rebound follows through on retiring at the end of his current contract in 2016. Personally, I agree with most of those interviewed, that Kobe could be a fantastic analyst if he chose to go that route and was really engaged in it. Given his well chronicled tendencies to fully throw himself into whatever task is at hand, such a level of engagement seems likely if he did decide to take a spin in the analyst chair.
What do you guys think? Would Kobe make a good analyst? Or do you fear a sequel to Magic Johnson: NBA Analyst? Let us know in the comments!