Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers drafted D’Angelo Russell last month, there’s been talk about how it’ll affect Kobe Bryant’s role on the team.
Bryant, who has mostly played at the shooting guard position throughout his storied career, will likely have to play at small forward next season due to Jordan Clarkson’s progression and Russell’s need for minutes in order to aid his development.
While we have yet to hear from Bryant directly on the matter, he recently told longtime Lakers trainer that he’s certain he can play the three next season, according to Mike Bresnahan from the L.A. Times:
“He was asking about our young kids, and I said, ‘You cannot believe how quick and athletic Jordan Clarkson is. He looks fantastic,'” Vitti said. “I said I personally thought D’Angelo Russell is going to be a star. He makes hard things look easy when he has the ball in his hands.
“Then Kobe said to me, ‘Well, then who’s going to play [small forward]?’ I looked at him and I said, ‘You.’ And with absolute, 100% confidence, he said, ‘I can do that.'”
Bryant will turn 37 next month, though it sounds as if he’s still up for the challenge, as always.