Kobe Bryant offers to help Lakers, but Luke Walton says team doesn't need 'tough love'
The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off the most-lopsided loss in their franchise’s renowned history and have dropped six of their past seven. The young roster could use all the help it could get.
And one of the franchise’s most iconic stars wants to lend a hand. Kobe Bryant told ESPN Radio on Tuesday that he’s just a phone call away if the organization wants his advice on the 16-32 Lakers.
"I’m always around behind the scenes for [Lakers co-owners] Jeanie, Jimmy, and the entire Buss family if they need assistance or if it be to reach out or call for advice and things of that nature," Bryant said.
Kobe saw the Lakers' woes firsthand his final three seasons in the NBA. The team won a combined 65 games during that span as the Lakers set a franchise low for wins each of those years.
Bryant, who retired after last season, has had time to sit back and watch his former team from afar. He said head coach Luke Walton is doing a “fine job” and added “patience is the key word here”.
Word of Kobe’s offer eventually reached Walton, who appreciated his former teammate’s willingness to help. But Walton did have one caveat.
“It depends in what capacity he will come in and help,” Walton told reporters Tuesday. “After losing by 40, he’s not the first guy I’m calling. Kobe is more about tough love. At that moment, I didn’t need tough love. I didn’t hear that, but it’s good to know he’s here for us.”
The Lakers are looking to bounce back after their 122-73 loss to the Mavericks on Sunday. They get their chance to make amends Wednesday against the Trail Blazers.