Lakers coach Luke Walton and D’Angelo Russell seem to have hit things off well. Which is good, because apparently Russell is going to need a mentor. Russell told SLAM Online that he hasn’t spoken to Kobe Bryant since Bryant retired.
SLAM: Have you spoken to Kobe at all since his retirement?
DR: Actually I haven’t, no.
Bryant’s been busy, his family is expecting his third daughter. He’s been visiting China, and has started his own entrepreneurial efforts. Camp hasn’t really started in LA, and Bryant has said publicly that his phone is always open to any member of the Lakers.
This isn’t wholly on either side, but it’s also on both sides to a degree.
Bryant hasn’t reached out to a young player that clearly needs his guidance, and Russell hasn’t made it a priority to ask Bryant for help. It’s a mutual situation, but it does make you wonder about the relationship between the two. Bryant never really covered for Russell during his struggles with playing time or the Nick Young situation this year. In large part, Bryant seemed to just not be in a position to deal with the Lakers’ immaturity last year.
Maybe in time, Russell will grow up some, and Bryant and he can develop a relationship. But for now, it seems like the Black Mamba may not be playing much of a mentor role with this next group of hopeful stars for the yellow and purple.
Source: CBS Sports / If DeAngelo Russell is looking for a mentor, Kobe Bryant isn’t the guy