Throughout history, the Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the most successful franchises in the NBA.
The best players in the world have donned the purple and gold. They've set a standard for excellence and it's always championship-or-bust season in LA.
Nonetheless, the passing of Jerry Buss led to some tumultuous times within the organization.
The Lakers were getting older, Kobe Bryant struggled to stay healthy, and they lacked the cap space or draft assets to compete.
That's why, following Bryant's retirement, the Lakers needed to do something to turn things around once and for all. And that's when Kobe encouraged Jeanie Buss to take the reins of the team and clean that mess:
"I’ll tell you, when Jeanie Buss came to me and said, ‘i really want to go after [LeBron], I said, Jeanie, he’s not coming here until you clean up this sh*t here, Bryant said, according to the undefeated. The last thing LeBron wants to do is come to an organization that has a lot of infighting, a lot of the stuff going on. I said, ‘Jeanie, it’s time for you to take ownership of this franchise. He’s not going to come if you don’t.’"
Eventually, the Lakers went through some major changes in the front office. They made the moves that needed to be done and paved the way for LeBron James to come to Hollywood.
James led the Lakers to the NBA championship in just his second season in Los Angeles. And now the team once again boasts plenty of star power and is one of the strongest contenders out of the Western Conference.
So, in some way, even without playing, Kobe still managed to make an impact in the organization and lead them in the right direction.