The night before the NBA draft, Lonzo Ball considered what he would ask Kobe Bryant if the Lakers legend was standing right in front of him.
Ball cocked his head and thought for a few seconds.
“What was the hardest thing you had to deal with your first year?" Ball said. "I'd ask him that.”
In the months since then, Bryant has yet to hear from Ball. But it’s not something that concerns Bryant much.
“I haven’t heard from him,” Bryant told The Times, “… but it’s nothing he can’t figure out. He’ll do the work, [Kyle] Kuzma will do the work, they’ll all figure it out. All these questions you ask me about LaVar [Ball] and all this other stuff that are really hot topics right now will be forgotten.”
Bryant’s involvement with the Lakers so far has been minimal. He hasn’t taken any official role with the organization and he makes himself available when they need him.
“I had no preconceived notions of my involvement,” Bryant said. “...It was never something where I thought these are my expectations of my involvement with the organization.”
He talks with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka regularly because of their personal relationship. Pelinka used to be Bryant’s agent and is the godfather to Bryant’s middle daughter Gianna. He had dinner with rookie Kuzma recently.
Bryant isn’t a religious watcher of Laker games, though he catches them when he can. He doesn’t seek out stories about LaVar Ball’s thoughts on the Lakers or think much about whether his comments are a problem for the Lakers.
“I wouldn’t know,” Bryant said. “I haven’t been in the mix enough to know. I’m sure if he is a problem I’m sure they’ll address it.”
Most of his attention these days goes to building Kobe Studios, shuttling his daughters to their after-school activities and teaching Gianna’s basketball team the triangle offense.
“With kids it’s really important to have consistency,” Bryant said. “Now to have that it’s absolutely wonderful.”