The question has become customary to ask any new Lakers player considering Kobe Bryant’s lasting influence on the organization.
“Have any of you guys heard from Kobe,” a reporter asked, “and if so, what did he say?”
Usually, the players will share that Bryant texted or talked with them on the phone. Sometimes, they will divulge what insight or advice Bryant offered. But center Roy Hibbert, guard Lou Williams and forward Brandon Bass, all of whom the Lakers acquired this offseason, indicated in an introductory press conference on Wednesday they had not heard from the Lakers’ star.
Hibbert shook his head “no.” The players looked at one another. Brass smiled amid the deafening silence.
Bryant, who is entering the final year of his contract worth $25 million, has touched base with other players in the past. That included D’Angelo Russell, whom the Lakers drafted with the second overall pick. Bryant also sat in on the Lakers’ first free agency meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge.
Still, Bass mentioned earlier that his arrival with the Lakers partly hinged on Bryant,
Said Bass: “I thought it was a great opportunity to play with one of the greatest ever to ever play the game.”