Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kobe Bryant - Player Coach?

When Red Auerbach retired from coaching the Boston Celtics he named Bill Russell as his replacement. Red's thinking was that the only person capable of coaching Russell and getting the best out of Russell was Russell himself. Bill Russell took over the Celtics and led them to a 162-83 record and two NBA Championships in his 3 seasons as player coach.

Could the Lakers be in a similar situation as the 1966 Boston Celtics?

What coach can come in and command the necessary respect from Kobe Bryant? Brian Shaw? Come on - how is Brian Shaw going to be able to yell at Kobe at practice or tell him that things will be done the way Shaw wants them done and not the way Kobe wants them done. Rick Adelman? Same problems.

Only Kobe can motivate Kobe at this point. Plus naming him player-coach would light a fire (as if extra motivation is needed in a guy like Kobe) to prove he was the reason for the Lakers success and not Phil Jackson.

Kobe could surround himself with solid bench coaches who could handle much of the practice and in game substitutions. Kobe would be responsible for getting the most out of Kobe and kicking his teammates in the butt if needed.

I really think this would be the best solution for the Lakers coaching search. Making Kobe the coach makes him completely responsible for the success of the team. His will to win won't let him fail.

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