Kobe Bryant: I Hope Lakers Consult Me When Hiring Next Coach

Kobe Bryant: I Hope Lakers Consult Me When Hiring Next Coach

On Thursday, Kobe Bryant, appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” said that he was not consulted in the hiring of the last two Lakers coaches, Mike D’Antoni and Mike Brown, but “on the third one, I’m hoping they do.”

Speaking publicly for the first time since D’Antoni parted ways with the Lakers, Kobe claimed: “Honestly, I don’t care” that he will no longer be the team’s coach. However, Kobe acknowledged that it was under far from optimal circumstances that D’Antoni inherited the team. “Mike was dealt a really bad hand in dealing with all the injuries that he had here,” Kobe explained. “This is a tough place, man. If you’re not winning, you’re not going to survive, man.”

As to his former coach Phil Jackson, who led Kobe and the Lakers to five NBA championships, Kobe is certain that the “Zen Master” will do well as the new president of the New York Knicks. “I think he’ll do fantastic,” Bryant said. “Especially the more people say that he won’t be successful.”

Despite the colossal fall from the elite status of former Lakers teams, Kobe still has faith in Lakers owners Jim and Jeanie Buss to turn things around. “Jimmy and Jeanie both, they’re just really determined and excited about the possibilities of next season and rebuilding this and building on their father’s legacy and everything that he’s accomplished,” Kobe opined. “And they’re taking the challenge extremely, extremely seriously. They’re both on the same page and they want nothing but excellence here, so I have no doubt that we’ll make it happen.”

Kobe also asserted that he is 100% healthy and is looking forward to coming back next year. When asked by Kimmel if he is rooting for the Clippers in the playoffs, he said, “Doesn’t really matter to me, because I’m not winning, so what the hell do I care who wins?” Nevertheless, Kobe did express himself regarding Donald Sterling’s recent racist comments by tweeting: “I couldn’t play for him” and “No. He should not continue owning the clippers. #nochance #noway #nohow.”

On sometime rival and mostly mentor Michael Jordan, Kobe recounted how Michael heckled him about scoring 81 points against Toronto in 2006 and added that he could never do it again or ever do it against him. Kobe told Kimmel that, “I normally try to stay pretty cool when it comes to MJ because I look up to him so much, but on that particular occasion I had to remind him that I did have 42 in one half against him.”