Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s advice to LeBron James: ‘You just gotta keep pushing’
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant knows the unfortunate nature of the franchise’s sour ending to a once-promising 2018-19 season. The iconic shooting guard pointed to the myriad injuries that plagued the Lakers, mainly a devastating 17-game absence from LeBron James that knocked the franchise off its initial trajectory, going from fourth place in the West after a win over the Golden State Warriors to slipping out of the playoffs:
“It was unfortunate because it got hit with so many injuries in rapid succession,” Bryant said on ESPN’s “Get Up.” (Transcript via Chelsea Howard of Omnisport.) “When they were rolling, I mean, they were playing very well, I think exceeding people’s expectations. But then they got hit with all these injuries. Kind of set ’em back, knocked them off-kilter a little bit. It’s hard to reboot that and so now they get caught in that rut. But next year should be better.”
"Seasons like this are what make the championships worth it.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 20, 2019
Bryant wouldn’t leave without giving James some sound advice, as he missed his first postseason berth since his second season in the league:
“You just gotta keep pushing,” Bryant said. “Seasons like this are what make the championships worth it.
“It’s just a matter of being patient. Obviously they’ll make smart decisions. You have opportunities, things, pieces that you can trade, assets of that sort, or you can stay with the young guys who are extremely talented and have great upside and let them develop. Either direction you go should be a good direction.”
The Black Mamba has been one of James’ biggest supporters through a tumultuous first season in Los Angeles, occasionally lending a kind word to inspire and further provide insight for Lakers fans.
Bryant self-admittedly said he hasn’t watched as much basketball now that he’s retired, but he’s sure to do it more often soon as the start of the playoffs approach and his show “Detail” on ESPN+ rolls along, breaking down some of the game’s best players and the arsenal of tools they use to break down their opposition.
As for James, all that is left is to hope a star is willing to join him this upcoming offseason, already having proved this young team has very little potential to work to his grand expectations.