In what marks a rare positive trace of news involving Lakers these days surprisingly involves Kobe Bryant’s health.
“I’m 100 percent,” Bryant told a Brazilian reporter surrounding his left knee that kept him out for all but six games last season.
Of course the verdict remains undecided whether Bryant can survive an 82-game schedule next season after experiencing major injuries in both his left knee and left Achilles tendon. But some more issues remain unsolved.
The Lakers are still involved in a deliberative coaching search, and Bryant expressed uncertainty whether that will actually yield a splash hire.
“That’s a very tough call to make,” Bryant said. “Unfortunately, there are very few great coaches out there. I don’t know why that is. But there are very few great coaches. It’s a very very short list. We’re going to take our time and pick the right person.”
The Lakers have interviewed a flurry of veteran coaches including Mike Dunleavy, Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins, Alvin Gentry and Kurt Rambis. It appears likely they will not hire anyone before the NBA Draft on June 26 and possibly even when free agency begins on July 1. Scott remains the lone candidate to interview with the Lakers twice, though they are expected to conduct more follow-up interviews.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are both preparing for their seventh overall draft pick and assembling a roster that currently only entails Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre under contract.
“It’s literally starting from scratch,” Bryant said. “It’s not what about what we have to do better frm last year. It’s about what we have to do to win.”
Tough task indeed after the Lakers ended the 2013-14 season with their worst record in L.A. franchise history.
“It’s a very very tough season, but what’s life without a few challenges?” Bryant said. “We have to have a few challenges. This summer, I’m training really hard. The organization is working really hard to make sure we have a great team. That’s the best time when people count you out.”