The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled to start the LeBron James era, dropping their first three games with the first star they’ve added since Kobe Bryant retired.
The Lakers’ early futility has led to panic from some segments of the fanbase and plenty of schadenfreude from all over the internet, and it’s been drama-filled on the court as well, with a multi-player fight leading to suspensions in the second game and a blown comeback opportunity that marred the third one.
Just about the only way things could get crazier is if something completely unexpected — like Bryant un-retiring to help James — happened, and Bryant joked on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he’s considering it:
Kimmel: “How many games in a row would the Lakers have to lose for you to un-retire, for you to come back to the team? If we got to 20 (losses in a row), you would think about it, right?”
Bryant: “If they go 0-5 I’ll think about it.”
That would be huge news if Bryant meant it, so thankfully Kimmel did the aggregators a solid and double-checked to see if Bryant was serious, or just using his traditional deadpan humor:
Kimmel: “You’ll think about it?”
It’s unsurprising that Bryant wouldn’t actually want to jump out of retirement to re-join the Lakers for a lot of reasons — the drama it would create and that fact he hasn’t played seriously in a while, among other things — but perhaps the simplest one is this: Bryant is a self-proclaimed storyteller, and every storyteller knows all the best tales have a killer ending. Bryant’s 60-point final game that erased all of the struggles from his final few years from fans’ minds certainly qualifies, and it’s hard to imagine him giving up such a storybook finale.
Alas, the Lakers are going to have to figure things out with the group they have or find help elsewhere, because Bryant isn’t coming back to save them, even if he felt he could.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.