Following the dramatic departure of Magic Johnson, the Lakers have had a hole in their front-office ever since. Jeanie Buss has coordinated leadership to GM Rob Pelinka with no plans of searching for a new President any time soon.
Still, there was optimism that Kobe Bryant might be willing to accept the role. A former Laker, a brilliant basketball mind, and a respected reputation amongst league personnel make him an ideal candidate for the job, even despite his lack of experience.
Unfortunately for Jeanie and Lakers fans around the globe, he has disqualified himself from the position.
Here is what he said in an appearance on “The Ellen Show” on Friday:
Ellen: So, can I ask you, were you surprised that Magic Johnson stepped down, was that a surprise to everybody?
Kobe: Little bit (smiles). Little bit of a shocker, yeah.
Ellen: And will you be stepping in?
Kobe: No. No. Nope. Nope. I’m staying right on the sideline and coaching my daughters.
While Bryant’s refusal might sting for the team, he is not the only legend to turn down the position. Pat Riley, the coach of the historic 1980s “Showtime” Lakers and current Miami Heat team president, also expressed no interest in taking the position.
This might force the Lakers to look outside of their network to fill the role. But as the offseason rolls on, and free agency period draws closer, it is clear that the team must figure something out before they attempt to recruit free agents in 2019.