Kobe Bryant says he would not sit in on any free-agent meetings for the Los Angeles Lakers this summer if asked — but he would talk to free agents over the phone on the team’s behalf.
Speaking on an episode of “The HoopsHype Podcast” that was published Monday, Bryant said he does not have a formal role with the Lakers and would therefore not actively meet with free agents for the team. Bryant spent the entirety of his playing career with the Lakers before retiring in 2016.
“I mean, I’m not going to be in the meeting,” Bryant said on the podcast. “… If the players have questions, or if (the Lakers) want me to reach out and call a player or something like that, talk to the player, kind give my two cents on what it was like to play here in this market, I’ll certainly do that. But in terms of being part of the meeting in any official way, the answer is no.”
Though Bryant became synonymous with the Lakers over his 20 seasons in the NBA, he has spent his post-playing days focusing on other interests. He won an Academy Award for his short film, “Dear Basketball,” and has since focused on his ESPN online show called “Detail,” which analyzes individual NBA performances. His book, “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play,” is scheduled to be released in October.
While Bryant will not be actively involved in the Lakers’ in-person recruitment of free agents this offseason, the 39-year-old said he will still be an interested observer.
“(General manager) Rob (Pelinka) and (president of basketball operations) Magic (Johnson) both have great flexibility in their cap. They have great young talent,” Bryant said. “I’ve known Rob a really long time, man. This dude is as smart as they come, man. He’ll figure it out.”
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