A week or so before the Los Angeles Lakers brought Magic Johnson back to the franchise as an advisor to team president Jeanie Buss, another one of the best players to ever don the purple and gold armor also expressed an interest in aiding the team.
During an appearance on Stephen A. Smith’s radio show, retired Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant expressed an interest in helping the team, although unlike Johnson’s more front facing role, Bryant said his preference would be to aid the organization “behind the scenes.”
It sounds like if that’s the type of role Bryant desires, Johnson is more than happy to offer it to him. Johnson’s whirlwind media tour continued with an appearance on ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday morning, during which he said he hopes to bring Bryant aboard in any capacity the former superstar feels as though he can help in (quote transcription via ESPN Los Angeles):
"First call I make if I'm in charge? Kobe Bryant," Johnson said on ESPN's First Take. "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.'
"I'll take that. Whatever time he has, I want him to come and be a part of it."
Bringing Bryant back could certainly help the Lakers for all of the reasons Johnson stated, but it would also be understandable if he wanted to wait a while before jumping back into basketball so soon after his retirement.
Bryant just played with many of the current players on the roster last season, which could lead to a bit of awkwardness were he to return right away.
However, it sounds like Bryant may also be already helping in an unofficial capacity anyway. Julius Randle recently shared that he and Bryant still communicate, so it sounds like in his own (somewhat removed) way, Bryant may already be doing some of the things Johnson hopes he can help with. Maybe one day it might even lead to a more official role.