Lakers great Kobe Bryant says key to winning is having patience with others, not with oneself
LeBron James was quick to stress patience upon his arrival with the Los Angeles Lakers at the start of the season. The wise Kobe Bryant, now settling as the Yoda of the NBA since retiring in 2016, gave his take on how patience really affects this team and how it should be used properly.
“The patience is on all of us. We have to be patient,” Bryant said during the Lakers’ annual “All-Access” event at Staples Center on Monday, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “But as a players, you’re never patient with yourself. You’re patient with each other, but not with yourself. You want to be there now. And you work to be there now with an understanding that it is going to take time. But you want to be there now. That’s the way that you accelerate growth. They have a lot of potential, man. They’ll figure it out.”
Kobe Bryant praised the way James has tried to figure things out with this new team but noted the difference between his first year with the Lakers and the last spent with veteran teammates with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Coming in here, to this organization and this city, it’s not anything that’s new to him,” Bryant said of James. “He’s always had the spotlight. He’s been able to deal with that gracefully. I think the difference here is that you have a collection of players and a lot of talent, all young. And so the challenge is, can they figure out what their games are individually sooner rather than later?
“Because at the beginning of the season, you saw a collection of individual talent try to figure out what it is that they can do and where they can do it on the floor — what are their games? And at the same time, try to figure out how to make those games blend in as a group. Right? And you can’t have both.”
James joined a cast of players that had spent an entire season or more trying to figure out their place in the league, a development that has now been suppressed by playing a support role to James and forced to mold their game around the team’s best player. That has resulted in a clear lack of identity besides James’ excellence, as it has been the case for most of James’ career, as he soaks up the spotlight in many situations.