HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

June 1, 2014 Updates
May 31, 2014 Updates

Nash's stance is the opposite of that of fellow future Hall of Fame backcourt mate Kobe Bryant, who already has publicly pined for a seat at the table when it comes to deciding who will be roaming the sidelines for L.A. next season. Nash, entering his 19th and presumably final season in the fall, said he would not seek out general manager Mitch Kupchak as the Lakers continue to conduct interviews. "I'm completely happy to have a conversation," Nash said. "But I'm also fine having nothing to do with it." ESPN.com

Today, it's the Jordan Comparisons, and really only two players deal with them: Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. "Any time I hear my name or our team in the same breath with legends and great teams and franchises, it's so humbling, man," James said when told of the latest comparison. "It's like — I really don't know." The admiration he has for Jordan is obvious. "Me and (Heat star Dwyane Wade) grew up watching the great Chicago Bulls team and the great Michael Jordan and the rest of those guys," James said. USA Today Sports

"I'm jealous of Tim," Kobe Bryant tells ESPN.com, "playing for the same historically great coach for his entire career." "When you look at what Russell and Auerbach did, now that's a whole different stratosphere," says ESPN's Avery Johnson, former point guard and captain for Popovich, as well as Duncan's former teammate. "It was a different time. But I will say this: They're not far behind. "They were not in a Boston or a Chicago, like Michael [Jordan] and Phil [Jackson], or an L.A. You're talking about doing what they did in San Antonio." ESPN.com

Chris Douglas-Roberts: I’ve gotten so much advice in this journey. Two that stand out are from my homie [music producer] Chase N. Cashe and my other homie Bean [Kobe Bryant]. One night Chase and I were talking when I was with the Knicks. Things were looking shaky I could see what was coming and I just couldn’t figure out what to do to break through. I knew I had game and so much to offer, but I couldn’t get over this damn hump. So him and I are talking in Harlem and somewhere in the conversation he just told me “figure it out.” Nothing more, nothing less. Just “figure it out.” It seems like something simple but its life. You have to figure this shit out. Nobody cares about your problems. Figure it out or be another statistic or pity story. Well, thats how I took it. After that, I put it all on me. Fired the agent I had at the time and put my future in my hands. I said if I don’t make it it’s on me and nobody else. And I figured it out. Bean basically told me something similar. He told me to go be special. He told me that the only person that is stopping me is me. He told me that I don’t give myself enough credit and once I do I’ll break through. Whoever you have to kill to get to where you’re going just kill them. It’s not personal. Bean respects my game so he really wants to see me do well. He’s a basketball fan before anything. Triangle Offense

May 29, 2014 Updates

SI.com: What player do you really enjoy spending time with and why? Beck: Kobe, by far. Some of it is familiarity. I started covering the Lakers in 1997, his second season, and was there to see his highest highs and his lowest lows for the next seven years. He could be temperamental ? he cussed me out more than once ? but I appreciated his passion and his honesty, and he had many more good days than bad when it came to the media. He rarely ducked the beat writers or ducked a tough question. SI.com

Lee: From the first time I got to do a one-on-one interview with him in my first full year covering the NBA, I've always enjoyed sitting down with Kobe Bryant. He never served me up with canned answers and always came across as thoughtful. As he's gotten older, Bryant has become like an old grandfather who's got nothing to lose and doesn't care what anybody thinks anymore. I also like talking to Kevin Durant because he might be the least pretentious and accessible superstar. You talk to him sometimes and you don't feel like you're talking to a potential Hall of Famer; he still carries himself like the humble kid from your neighborhood who made it big but didn't forget where he came from. SI.com

May 27, 2014 Updates

Scott's last season in the NBA was Bryant's first (1996-97), and the mentorship that began as teammates back then has long since evolved into a close relationship. "I think the Kobe relationship is going to play a big part," Scott, who currently works as an analyst for the Lakers' television network, told USA TODAY Sports by phone Tuesday. "Again, I think I've got a hand up on (the job) because of our relationship. We get along extremely well. Kobe knows all about me and what I'm about. He knows that I'm an old-school coach who's very demanding on the defensive end and knows that defense and rebounding wins championships, so I think from that point of view we see eye to eye. USA Today Sports

May 26, 2014 Updates
May 23, 2014 Updates

Scott: Obviously, if I get the job, the first conversation with Kobe. We have to talk about the future of the Los Angles Lakers. We have to also talk about the type of direction we’re going to be taking and also talk about the type of game that he’s going to be playing, because he’s going to have to change his game a little bit, and I think he knows that. We’ve got to sit down and talk about the minutes and things like that. We’ve just got to come to an agreement. But he knows me. I’m an old-school type guy, old-school type guy. And I want him to understand that, and I think he does understand that. We communicate during the summer by text, and every now and then, I’ll run into him somewhere and we’ll talk a little bit more about basketball. But I think the biggest thing is, No. 1, I respect the hell out of Kobe, and I think he respects me. That’s the first hurdle you’ve got to get past, and then other things, we’ll solve all those little issues. NBCSports.com

The Lakers are still early in the interviewing process, but Scott said he came away from the meeting feeling positive about his chances. "I left the room feeling pretty good about the way it went," he said. "I don't feel I'm a very arrogant guy, but I think that I am the perfect guy for this job. I've got a great relationship with Kobe. I know the team. I know the roster. I watched them all season long." Los Angeles Times

May 22, 2014 Updates
May 17, 2014 Updates

Bryant has recently alluded toward the Lakers’ failure to seek his approval on the last two coaching hires. The Lakers did not consult with Bryant on Brown. But Bryant reported in 2012 telling executive Jim Buss he considered D’Antoni his top choice before realizing Phil Jackson was a candidate. “The decisions will be made by Jim Buss, myself and the basketball operations people,” Kupchak said. “From time to time, I’ll go to Kobe and we talk about a lot of different things. But he will not make the decision, nor does he want to be part of hiring a coach.” Long Beach Press-Telegram

May 15, 2014 Updates

Since declaring for the NBA draft, Exum has been working out in Los Angeles, and has had the opportunity to be on the floor with Bryant, who is still recovering from the knee injury that ended his season after just six games. “I have talked to Kobe, I have seen him workout a couple of times,” Exum said. “He is just getting back and stuff. But I am definitely planning on talking to him because I am in a similar position as he was when he was getting drafted. … "He is just getting back into the swing of things. It was just really light shooting, but it was pretty cool to watch.” Sporting News

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak says the lines of communication between himself and Kobe Bryant are open, but that doesn't mean that the star guard will get a say in who the team hires as its next head coach. "From time to time we ask his advice," Kupchak told ESPN's Andy Katz at the NBA draft combine in Chicago on Thursday. "He really won't weigh in on something like this. I'm not even sure that we'll talk to him prior to interviews. But from time to time, he is in our facility, I'll go downstairs and I'll talk to him about a bunch of different things." ESPN.com

May 12, 2014 Updates

Q: You’ve been criticized for the contract extension that was given to Bryant. How does it factor into the way you build this team over the next two seasons, with salary cap implications and so on, and how would things look different if you’d given him less money? Mitch Kupchak: When we gave Kobe the extension, we took a lot of factors into consideration, including the factors you just mentioned. We felt it was the thing to do. We’re still in a position to be a big player in the free agent market. Signing Kobe when we did, we felt, gave us one of the top two or three free agents that would be available this summer. We had the rare opportunity to get that done and not have to wait until July 1. Everybody can debate whether they would have waited or not, but our mindset was: ‘This is somebody we can get done now, and we still have a chance to be a player financially with free agency.’ Cap space is valuable and you don’t want to misuse it. You do have to use it, but you don’t have to use it going forward unless you want to. NBA.com

May 11, 2014 Updates

Second, the coach must be able to coexist with Bryant. The Bryant-D’Antoni relationship deteriorated to the point where the pair barely spoke by the end of their tenure together. Even in D’Antoni’s first season in L.A., when the Lakers still managed to win 28 of their final 40 games to make the playoffs, there was conflict. ESPN.com

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.