Kobe Bryant won’t be jumping through hoops to help the Lakers convince free agents to join the team this summer.
His reasoning is simple: If a player needs convincing to join the Lakers, “he ain’t the one”.
“You know, the thing about this franchise is that you shouldn’t need recruiting to come in it,” Bryant told ESPN’s Jalen Rose on Friday.
“It takes a special person to want to play for this franchise, and take the pressure that comes along with playing for this franchise. The pressure of following Magic [Johnson]’s footsteps, myself and the dynasty that we’ve had, it takes a special person to do that. “And if I need to convince you come here, to carry that legacy forward, then you ain’t the one to be it.”
For years stories have swirled of heavyweights like Pat Riley laying their extensive collection of rings on the table in front of sought-after free agents.
While Kobe has both the rings and the charisma to pull off a similar move, it just won’t be happening.
As far as he’s concerned, you better already be committed to the Lakers and winning multiple championships.
And if you’re not?
“Then you can go play someplace else,” Bryant said.
“That’s fine, too. I mean, it’s a certain personality that comes along with it. It’s a brand thing. I mean, the Lakers stand for excellence. They stand for winning. We don’t hang division banners. You know what I’m saying? We don’t do that. We don’t retire everyone’s jerseys. We retire Hall of Fame jerseys.”