Kobe Bryant? A bastion of…patience? And…of process?
No. Surely not. Like, seriously, no.
Speaking on Fox Sports Radio’s Chris and Caron, the five-time NBA champion and future Hall of Famer made it clear he doesn’t want his Los Angeles Lakers busting up their youth movement to facilitate an epic free agency coup. Here are his thoughts in their entirety, courtesy of Silver Screen & Roll’s Christian Rivas:
“It depends on what they want to do,” Bryant said. “It depends on what options are available to them, but I’ve got to tell you man, they have a couple of great lanes to go down, whether it’s free agency or developing the young talent that they currently have, they’re in a really great position.”
“I love everything that I’ve been seeing from these young guys,” Bryant continued. “Their ability to to fight, getting in the gym early, staying late. All these things are things that pay off. I under this market is like ‘you gotta win like, yesterday,’ but that’s not always the case, you know? If you want to be a dynasty or a team that has longevity, those things take time, and generally are grown from within.
“You slap a couple All-Stars together, you can maybe win two of three, but eventually players get traded. But if you build a team organically, that dynasty team tends to stay together longer.”
So this…makes a ton of sense.
The Lakers have assembled a nice base with Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Julius Randle. And they’ll have another incoming first-round prospect with the Cleveland Cavaliers pick. They don’t need to hit a home run in free agency.
Indeed, a superstar signing or two might be convenient. And the Lakers have a clear path to carving out two max slots while only sacrificing Randle from the aforementioned group. But they don’t need to rush the process, or to view free agency as an end-all. They have the incumbent youth worth grooming and developing. They may not coalesce into the Lakers’ next dynasty, but hey, as Bryant alludes to, they absolutely could.