The Los Angeles Lakers may have an extra coach on the floor when Kobe Bryant is in the game, but coach Byron Scott thinks the future Hall of Famer’s actual prospects as an NBA coach look slim.
As the 36-year-old Bryant’s career winds to a close, many have wondered whether he would try to take his immense basketball knowledge to the sidelines. While Kobe has never mentioned any desire to be a coach, some feel it would be hard for him to simply ease into retirement.
But Byron Scott said Kobe’s demeanor would make it difficult for him to transition to the end of the bench.
“He’s too tough,” Scott said after the Lakers’ first practice on Tuesday. “He would probably be a whole lot more demanding than Pat Riley, myself and guys like that. It would be tough. Plus, he would expect guys to play like him, to have that type of passion that he has for the game. And to have the love for the game that he has and to have that commitment.”
Scott has a big coaching task of his own, trying to take a Los Angeles Lakers team that finished at the bottom of the Western Conference and turn them back into a contender for the small window Kobe has left in his career. Scott finally has a healthy Kobe after two consecutive years of season-ending injuries and guard Steve Nash is back to full health as well.
Scott added that he expects big things of Kobe Bryant this year, as long as he can stay on the floor.
“I’m expecting him to play 82 games and play well,” Scott declared. “To be honest with you, he’s a guy who’s going to still probably average 23, 24 points (per game). Our biggest thing is making sure he stays healthy.”
Scott has already said publicly that Kobe Bryant will see limited minutes this year in an effort to conserve him for the stretch and a possible playoff run. He also has brought in a supporting cast that includes Jeremy Lin, who could see big minutes in the backcourt this year.
But Byron Scott will face some big pressure this year with the Los Angeles Lakers, and if the team fails to make the playoffs again, he will only have to worry about one coaching job — his own.
[Image Via Forbes]