Who’s Popovich’s secret weapon? Apparently, it’s Kobe
The San Antonio Spurs defeated Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, but Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard got way more than one win for their troubles: Bryant has agreed to help Leonard improve over the summer (via CBS Sports):
“After the game we talked about Kawhi a little bit,” Bryant said about his postgame chat with the Spurs head coach. “[Popovich] wanted me to stay in his ear a little bit and talk to him a little bit. I definitely, definitely, definitely will. I think he has a tremendous amount of potential and he's only going to get better. So if I can help him out in that regard, I most certainly will…Leonard often heads home to California for offseason workouts, so it won't be hard for him to meet up with Kobe. And while Bryant didn't reveal how he would specifically help Leonard, he let it be known that he will always be available for the Spurs forward.”I'm always around for the guys,” said Bryant. “Always.”
This is obviously a best-case scenario for everyone involved. Leonard is already one of the best players alive, but he definitely has room to improve on different aspects of the game; the "take no prisoners" mentality Bryant is notorious for would do wonders in his body.
For the Spurs’ sake, hopefully they meet, and Bryant is able to help Leonard grow. It doesn’t mean San Antonio’s best player would suddenly turn into a stone-cold killer who talks trash and instills genuine fear in his opponent every time down the floor, but the 24-year-old will likely pick up at least one tip that noticeably improves his game.
And that should terrify the rest of the league.