Somewhat distant from the league following his retirement, Kobe Bryant still kept an indescribable link with the Lakers. According to rumors, the franchise was also planning to offer him a job just before he disappeared!
Unlike other former glories of the league, he never really seemed to miss the competition and the daily life of a player. Disappeared from the NBA circuit one evening in April 2016, Kobe Bryant quickly moved away from it, thus leaving room for other occupations that he wished to privilege. That of the father of a family obviously appeared as his priority, among others in which he also excelled.
Writing his book Mamba Mentalitythe making of his Oscar-winning short film Dear Basketball… The mythical rear of the Lakers has multiplied major projects in his life as a young retiree. But despite all these new functions for him, he tried somehow to follow the evolution of his franchise forever. Frankness in which he could also have returned, without his tragic fatal crash.
The aborted meeting between Kobe Bryant and the Lakers
Before leaving his fans orphaned on January 26, 2020, Kobe had several options available to him to diversify his post-career a little more. Moon, recently revealed by Charles Barkley, was a priori concluded shortly before his disappearance. The other would have seen him return to the Lakers, but this time in their offices according to Bill Oram and Sam Amick of The Athletic !
Had Bryant not passed away in that horrific helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, Buss was considering offering him a direct front office role in the near future. He had already had a big impact on the franchise after his retirement, convincing Jeanie to fire her brother Jim from his front office position during a dinner in Newport Beach in February 2017.
The place of the Black Mamba in the angelino organization chart already seemed to have been found. Indeed, if he had accepted the offer of Jeanie Buss, Kobe would have found his former agent and good friend Rob Pelinka in the front office of LA Their collaboration would therefore undoubtedly have gone wonderfully, while Vino could have argued his influence with the younger generation to attract stars to the franchise!
However, not sure that Bryant would have looked favorably on this meeting with his former team, which is moreover in a role a priori “from the shadows”. His schedule then seemed already quite busy, and the direction taken by the Purple & Gold did not necessarily seem to suit him. He would not necessarily have welcomed the arrival of LeBron James on the spot, to believe his first reaction when signing the King !
Among all the caps that Kobe Bryant could have borrowed before his death, that of executive was about to be offered to him by Jeanie Buss. There is no doubt that his aura would have worked wonders in this position, and allowed his candor to attract some very pretty names!