Is the next Bryant already on their roster?
“When you look at our young corps, I don't look at none of those guys as being that next Kobe,” the Lakers coach said Monday before the Lakers got crushed by the
“If there is one that can do that, it's going to take a whole hell of a lot of work to get there, a lot of dedication to be able to get to that pinnacle as far as basketball is concerned.”
Bryant is the third-leading scorer in
But Scott's point was loud and clear:
“All three of those guys have talent, no doubt about it,” Scott said. “All three of those guys are athletic. They all can do some things with that basketball, but they've got to spend a whole lot of time this summer on that end of the floor [and] a whole lot of time in the film room and on the court on the defensive end of the floor.”
That's a long list.
Bryant seemed to agree, in fewer words. Is there a player with his killer instinct already on the Lakers, a franchise player in waiting?
"If you have to ask that question than the answer is already there," he said.
As if to prove the point, Clarkson, Russell and Randle struggled mightily against the Jazz, combining for 19 points on eight-for-34 shooting (23.5%).
Bryant was off the mark as well (one-for-11 shooting) and Monday's loss tied the largest in the Lakers' 68-year history, matching a 48-point drubbing by the Clippers two years ago.
Help could be on the way. The Lakers are close to clinching the NBA's second-worst record and a 55.8% chance at keeping their top-three-protected draft pick on lottery night.
For a quicker impact, they'll have about $55 million to spend this summer on free agents. Maybe then they'll get the franchise player they desperately crave.