Since retiring after 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016, Kobe Bryant has had his hands full. The future hall of famer has kept busy winning Oscars and working on a book, among other entertainment projects, but apparently Jeanie Buss has been attempting to get him to take on one more set of responsibilities: Some sort of involvement with the Lakers.
During an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Buss revealed that she’s been trying to get Bryant to join his former agent Rob Pelinka and fellow Lakers legend Magic Johnson in taking some sort of formal role with the organization, but that thus far she’s had no luck in doing so (h/t Matt Moreno Lakers Nation):
“I’m constantly trying to get Kobe to get more involved. He’s got so many other projects that he’s doing. He’s so creative and he’s got so many different things. He knows how much I need him and how much his support means to me. He always has an open door to anything he wants to do with the Lakers.”
The good news for those that are hoping Bryant does get involved with helping rebuild the purple and gold back to the glory they so often achieved during his playing days is that while Bryant may not want a formal job with the Lakers, he has continued to support the team, whether by talking to LeBron James during free agency, giving tips to young Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma or even preaching the virtues of a patient team-building strategy to Pelinka.
Buss’ respect for Bryant is obvious, so it’s no surprise she’d like to work with him or get him involved in some way as the franchise continues its rebuild, but it’s also no surprise that Bryant has turned her down so far.
Bryant has never made any secret of his ambitions beyond basketball now that his playing days are done, and he is now focused on trying to build an entertainment empire rather than getting back involved on the hardwood, which is his right after 20+ years of eating, sleeping and breathing basketball.
It sounds like if Bryant changes his mind, he’ll have “an open door” to come back to the franchise that has immortalized him with two jerseys in the rafters, but if not, they’ll surely continue to take whatever assistance he’s willing to give them from afar.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.