Just a few short months ago, Kobe Bryant appeared to have concerns about the Jim and Jeanie Buss dynamic.
“I think we have to start at the top in terms of the culture of our team,” Bryant said back in March. “What kind of culture do we want to have? What kind of system do we want to have? How do we want to play? It starts there, and then from there you can start out building your team accordingly.”
Bryant was then asked how the franchise should go about righting the ship.
“Well, you’ve gotta start with Jim [Buss],” Bryant said. “You’ve gotta start with Jim and Jeanie [Buss] and how that relationship plays out. It starts there, and having clear direction and clear authority.”
It seems Bryant got his wish.
During his annual basketball camp press conference yesterday, the Black Mamba claimed that Jim and Jeanie are now “on the same page” and are ready to lead the organization back to the promised land.
“They’re ready to go. They both understand what they need to do individually and how that works together as a unit to turn this organization around,” Bryant said of Jim and Jeanie Buss. “I think you’ll see some changes that really fall in line with the history and the culture of the organization. You’ve seen James [Worthy] at the [Draft Lottery]. You start seeing some of these legends from Laker past being around a lot more to make sure that that culture continues to exist.”
You can tell where this is heading.
Obviously, Bryant was then asked about Byron Scott. The five-time champion’s eyes instantly lit up.
“He was my rookie mentor when I first came into the league, so I had to do things like get him donuts and run errands for him and things like that,” Bryant said of Scott, who both played for the Lakers in the 1996-97 season. “We’ve had a tremendously close relationship throughout the years, so obviously I know him extremely well, he knows me extremely well. I’ve always been a fan of his.”
And then came the question we had all been waiting for: “Is he somebody you’d like to see coach the Lakers next season?”
Kobe’s reply was short but sweet: “Yeah.”
It has long been believed that Scott is the front-runner to land the Lakers’ head coaching job, though the team have held off hiring a candidate while they navigate the turbulent waters of free agency.
However, once the team have more clarity on what their roster will look like next season, it appears they will finally strike and hire their man.
And, if Bryant’s Laker “legends” comments and obvious public endorsement of Scott are anything to go by, it looks like his former teammate will be at the helm when opening night rolls around in October.